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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 25

The 1000 Years of Revelation
 

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Let’s ask God to grant us His assistance during this lesson:

O Lord, our God,

You have guided us in our previous explorations of Your Word.

We want to continue to study Your Holy Book, and this is why we implore Your presence once again, so that we may understand the prophecies You have given us, which will soon be fulfilled.

This is our prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.




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Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

For the time is at hand.

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A special blessing is granted to the students of the book of Revelation. So much the better, since we will now study the 1000 years described in the twentieth chapter of this prophetic book.

Let us investigate this period of 1000 years (also commonly called the «millennium», a Latin word which means «1000 years»), and discover the events which will take place:

- before the millennium;
- during the millennium;
- after the millennium.




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Before the millennium: Matthew 24:29,30

The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

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First, let’s look at the events which will precede the millennium.

Jesus must first return and gather His people before the beginning of the millennium.

Let’s remember that the signs of the times, which we can see nowadays, foretell the imminence of Christ’s return.




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Before the millennium: Revelation 20:4

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 on their foreheads, or in their hands.

And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

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The next event to take place before the millennium begins: the resurrection of the righteous believers, who died in Jesus Christ.

Now, let’s carefully read the verses following this passage in Revelation...




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Before the millennium: Revelation 20:5,6

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection.

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As we have studied in our lesson «After Death», there will be two resurrections:

- first, that of the righteous in Christ, which will take place at His return and mark the beginning of the millennium;

- next, that of the wicked who rejected Jesus, which will take place at the end of the millennium.

The following two verses show that the Bible truly teaches that there will be two resurrections.




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John 5:29

They that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

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Daniel 12:2

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

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So there will be two resurrections.

Note that Daniel, Jesus, and John placed them in the same order:

- first the resurrection of the just;
- then the resurrection of the wicked.




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Before the millennium: 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.

For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

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The third event to take place just before the millennium begins: the transformation of the just who are still alive at the return of Christ, giving them incorruptibility and immortality.




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Before the millennium: 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

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.

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.

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Once the dead in Christ are resurrected and the living are transformed, Jesus will gather them all to His side in the clouds, that they may live forever with Him.




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Before the millennium: Matthew 24:31

And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

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As we can see, the scenario remains the same wherever we look in the Scriptures.

Maybe all this seems too beautiful to be true, but Jesus Himself confirms that these events will take place very soon.




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Before the millennium: 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8; 2:8

(...) when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (...)

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.

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The last event before the millennium begins: the unjust will be destroyed, being unable to bear the brightness of Jesus Christ’s coming.

They will then remain dead until the end of the thousand years.




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Before the millennium: Zephaniah 1:2,3

«I will utterly consume all things from off the land,» said the Lord.

«I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land,» said the Lord.

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Before the millennium: Jeremiah 25:33

And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.

They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung on the ground.

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There will be no man left alive on the earth during the millennium.




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During the millennium: 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 thousand years.

And he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled.

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As the millennium begins, Satan is bound on the earth (we will study the word «bound» in a moment).

The words «bottomless pit» («abussos» or «abyss» in Greek) mean «desolate land», as the next verses will show us.




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Genesis 1:2

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.

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During the millennium: Jeremiah 4:23-25

I beheld the earth, and, see, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, see, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

I beheld, and, see, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

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The deep («abussos» in Greek, «tehom» in Hebrew) refers to the same thing as the bottomless pit: the earth before Creation.

During the millennium, the earth will return to a state of total desolation.




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During the millennium: Isaiah 13:9

Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

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Since all the wicked will die at Christ’s return, Satan will no longer be able to deceive people on earth during the millennium.

This is why the Bible says that he will be «bound a thousand years»: he will actually be bound by circumstances, being able only to see the sad results of his rebellion against God.




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During the millennium: 1 Thessalonians 4:17

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.

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During the millennium: Revelation 20:6

Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection.

On such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

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During the millennium, Jesus Christ will reign in heaven with His people.

And what will they be doing all that time?




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During the millennium: Revelation 20:4,12

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. (...)

And the books were opened. (...) And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

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During the millennium: 1 Corinthians 6:2,3

Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? (...)

Know you not that we shall judge angels?

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Jesus’ people will assist Him in judging the wicked and the fallen angels.

They will then understand the reasons for their condemnation.




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After the millennium: Revelation 20:2,3,5

[The angel] bound [Satan] a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on 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. (...)

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

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As we have just seen, Satan will be «bound» during the millennium, being unable to deceive people anymore.

But, after the thousand years, the wicked will be resurrected, and Satan will be «loosed», being able, once again, to deceive them and encourage them to persist in their rebellion.




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After the millennium: Revelation 20:8,9

And [Satan] 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.

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After the millennium: Zechariah 14:3,5

Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. (...)

And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with You.

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Satan’s goal will be to invade New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.

But why does the prophecy speak of «Gog and Magog»?




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After the millennium: Ezekiel 38:2,3,7,8 (NIV)

Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog; (...) prophesy against him and say, (...)

«Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.

After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate.

They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.»

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The names Gog and Magog refer to this prophecy, describing how Satan will lead the nations to besiege New Jerusalem.




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After the millennium: Ezekiel 38:10,11,15,16

It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall think an evil thought. And you shall say,

«I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.» (...)

And you shall come from your place out of the north parts, you, and many people with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company, and a mighty army.

And you shall come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land.

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Seeing the Heavenly City coming down from heaven, Satan will decide to besiege it, and to do so, he will gather all the nations and deceive them.




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After the millennium: Ezekiel 38:18,22,23

«And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel,» said the Lord God, «that My fury shall come up in My face. (...)

And I will rain on him, and on his bands, and on the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.»

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And this is how the tragedy will end: Satan, his angels and the wicked will receive their judgment, and will then be destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone.




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After the millennium: Isaiah 24:21,22 (NKJV)

It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth.

They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.

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The prophet Isaiah also summarizes the course of these events:

- the wicked, killed by the brightness of Christ’s coming, will remain captive in death for «many days», that is 1000 years;

- after that, they will be resurrected for their judgment and «will be punished».




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After the millennium: Revelation 20:12,15; 21:8

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 whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (...)

[They] shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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Before being destroyed, the wicked will receive their judgment.

Having rejected God’s call during their life, their name will not appear in the Book of Life.

They alone will be responsible for their bad decision.




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After the millennium: Malachi 4:1,3

«For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble.

And the day that comes shall burn them up,» said the Lord of hosts, «that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (...)

And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.»

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After the millennium: Revelation 20:9

And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

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As we have seen in the lesson «Is There Really a Hell?», the destruction of Satan, his angels, and the wicked, will be total and complete.




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After the millennium: Revelation 21:1-3,5

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,

«Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. (...) These words are true and faithful.»

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Finally, New Jerusalem will come down onto the new earth, and will become its capital city. This will be the subject of a future lesson.

Now, let’s draw up a summary of this lesson.




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What will happen before, during, and after the millennium




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Let’s thanks God for His blessings:

Lord,

How can we thank You for the loving call You send us patiently, day after day, so that we may take a stand for You?

We want to invite You to dwell in our hearts, to transform us and make us worthy, in Jesus Christ, to have part in the first resurrection, at Your Son’s return.

In His precious name we pray.

Amen.


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