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Revelation Twenty

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

 

 

 

   
     

 

 

 REVELATION TWENTY
by L.R. Shelton, Jr.
 

 

Chapter 2


We are continuing our study of Revelation 20 in verses 4, 5 and 6 which read: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, 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 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."


If you remember from our last studies, we have showed you from the Scriptures that this chapter covers the time period from the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ. Therefore we can truthfully say that what we have here in Rev. 20 is that which has been in the past, that which is taking place now in the present and that which is in the future yet to come. We saw that the binding of Satan in vv. 1-3 took place at the first coming of Christ. One of the purposes of his being bound was that he could no longer keep the gospel from being preached to the nations of the earth as he had prior to our Lordís first coming when He came to die for poor sinners.


Next we showed you from Scripture that the thousand years is not a literal time period, but an expression denoting a long, or an indefinite period of time which has already lasted for nearly 2000 years. We have seen from the Scriptures that it is during this thousand years, or this indefinite time period, that Christ rules and reigns from Davidís spiritual throne in heaven; that he is not waiting for a time in the future to reign literally here upon earth from Jerusalem on a partially restored earth, but is ruling and reigning now until His second coming when He shall usher in the new heavens and the new earth.  We showed you also that the reason vs. 6 of Rev. 20 says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection", is because the first resurrection is everywhere spoken of in Scripture as being a spiritual resurrection! Our Lord confirmed this truth over and over in His ministry while here upon earth, that the first resurrection is the bringing forth of the sinner from the grave of sin and giving him a new heart, a new spirit, and a new nature so now he follows God in Christ and walks in the pathway of righteousness and true holiness.
 


THE MARK OF THE BEAST


Now as we go further into our study in this blessed chapter of Rev. 20, we come to that expression that has to do with "the mark of the beast". There is something else that is said about those who have part in the first resurrection who rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years, or during this GOSPEL AGE. You see, verse 4 tells us that they are those "Which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands." They had not received THE MARK OF THE BEAST!  The question is always asked, "What is the mark of the beast?" Dear friend, I want you to put down everything and listen! (For we will be plowing new ground, as a farmer would say.) So I want you to hear, then compare it with the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding.


One well-known interpretation of the mark of the beast is that at a given time in this earthís history, there will arise an antichrist who will rule for seven years during a so-called great tribulation period, when every man outside of Christ will receive in their foreheads or on their hands the number 666. Then those who do not bow down and worship the beast by receiving this number will be persecuted or killed. But my friend, the Scriptures bear out very clearly that we have always had antichrists with us according to I John 2:18,22, and there are many antichrists today! For every individual who is not in Christ is antichrist!  Further, we are in error if we interpret this mark of the beast to be a single, individual, outward, visible sign that will appear on the forehead or hand of the wicked at one particular moment in history, then and only then! This mark spoken of in Rev. 20 which these in heaven did not receive, is not our social security number or our postal zip code number, nor any other kind of mark that any man puts there; it is not a physical mark at all! "Then", you will ask, "what is it?" Will you listen? We will let Scripture interpret Scripture, for if we can understand what the sealing of the Father is in Rev. 7:2 and 14:1, then we can understand what the mark of the beast is. So let us look first at the sealing of the Father.



The Sealing of the Father


In Rev. 7 we are told that the four angels could not hurt the earth in judgment until the servants of the living God were sealed in their foreheads. Then in Rev. 14, we see the same group standing with the Lamb in heaven still with the Fatherís seal upon them and not one of them is missing! Who are these 144,000 who are sealed by the Father in Rev. 7 and 14? they are the TRUE ISRAEL OF GOD, symbolized under the names of the twelve tribes of literal or physical Israel. They are the great multitudes of Rev. 7:9 "which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues," standing before the throne in heaven and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes with palms in their hands, having come out of great tribulation, who had washed their robes, and made them white as snow in the blood of the Lamb (vs. 14). Did you catch those words: "Which no man could number"? By this we see, that as with the "thousand years", this number is to be taken symbolically. The number 144,000 (which is 12 thousand times twelve thousand) represents the COMPLETE NUMBER OF THE ELECT OF GOD, made up of the Old Testament and New Testament saints, from Abel-the first man ever saved by grace-to the last soul saved before the second coming of Christ. So those who are sealed by the Father are the entire church of the living God!


Dear friend, this sealing of the Father is the most precious thing that could happen to a poor sinner under heaven! For you see, the Scriptures speak of the seal in a threefold sense: First of all, a seal PROTECTS against tampering. Thatís the reason they put a seal upon the tomb of our blessed Lord, with guards around it, according to Matt. 27:66, that nobody would tamper with that seal; it was to protect. Secondly, a seal marks OWNERSHIP. Thus we read in Song of Solomon 8:6: "Set me as a seal upon thine heartÖ" Why? because the bride desired to belong to the Bridegroom! Third, a seal signifies GENUINE CHARACTER; as we see in Esther 3:12: the decree that all the Jews should be wiped out was sealed with the ring of the king in Estherís day, thus showing the character of the law of the Medes and the Persians, that it was fixed and could not be changed.


So in the same way, the Christian, (the child of God, the true believer, everyone who makes up the TRUE ISRAEL OF GOD) is sealed in this threefold sense. First, the Father has sealed us, for the believer enjoys the Fatherís protection throughout his life; and Satan with all his power cannot break this protective seal wherewith the Father has sealed His people. Second, the Son has sealed us, for He has bought and redeemed each believer with His own precious blood. Therefore He owns us and declares our name before the Father. Also the Holy Spirit has sealed us (Eph. 1:13), for He CERTIFIES that we are the SONS OF GOD (Rom. 8:16); He is the Spirit of adoption Who cries within us "Abba Father", and witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of the living God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. "But", you still ask, "What is the seal?" Listen now! The sealing of the Father is nothing less than the HOLY NATURE OF GOD given to us in the new birth (II Pet. 1:4).

 

It is that new heart and new nature (Ezek. 36:26), that is given to the people of God. Why then do we receive the very character, the mark, or the seal of God? For one purpose: that we may be made like unto Him in HOLINESS (Eph. 1:4; II Cor. 3:18; I Thess. 4:3,7; Heb. 12:14). My friend, this is the teaching of the Word of God! You see, every child of God has this seal of holiness and shows it by worshipping the Lamb and following Him all the days of his life, by walking in righteousness and true holiness. As we see in II Tim. 2:19: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure; HAVING THIS SEAL, (the seal of holiness) The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, LET EVERY ONE THAT NAMETH THE NAME OF CHRIST DEPART FROM INIQUITY." Therefore, those here in Rev. 20:4 stand perfect, pure and clean before the throne and before the Lamb, for they have overcome the wicked one, who is Satan; they have not bowed down to him, worshipped him, nor do they bear his mark; they have overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
 


The Great Contrast


Surely you should know by now that the MARK OF THE BEAST is the opposite of holiness and godliness! Rev. 13 tells us it is the NUMBER OF MAN, 666; it is his depraved nature of unholiness and ungodliness, and he shows it by worshipping and following the beast, who is Satan, all the days of his life unless God in His sovereign grace lays hold of his heart.  Please listen now! I will show you this from the Scriptures! Every man outside of the Lord Jesus Christ is a child of the devil and follows and serves him. In John 8:44 our Lord Jesus said: "Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." We see in II Tim. 2:26 that the wicked are held captive by him at his will.

 

And according to Eph. 2:2-3, the wicked walk according to the course of this world, ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. So just as the children of God bear the image and likeness of their spiritual Father, the Lord God of heaven, which is holiness, the wicked bear the image and likeness of their father the devil, which is UNHOLINESS and UNGODLINESS. He rules them by their depraved hearts, for Mark 7:20-23 tells us, "For FROM WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteriesÖ" and all manner of sin. This is his mark, THE MARK OF THE BEAST, upon every man outside of the Lord Jesus Christ: it is the mark of depravity, the mark of wickedness, the mark of sin! And if this is your heart, dear friend, if this mark is never removed in the new birth, and washed away by the blood of the Lamb, you shall follow the beast (Satan, your father) into the lake of fire which is the second death, according to Rev. 20:10.
 


Marked in the Forehead
or Right Hand


Dear friend, let us see what else Rev. 13 tells us about the MARK OF THE BEAST and again see how Scripture interprets Scripture: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a MARK IN THEIR RIGHT HAND, OR IN THEIR FOREHEADS; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (vv. 16-17). Remember, the mark is the deep depravity of the heart of man apart from the grace of God. Eph. 4:18 tells us that manís understanding is darkened; therefore his mind is blinded by the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4). And what did we read in Rev. 13:16? THE MARK OF THE BEAST IS IN THE FOREHEAD-IN THE UNDERSTANDING, IN THE MIND! Then also we see the mark in the right hand, because it is with the HAND that man DOES THE WORKS OF THE FLESH which we see in Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5 and I Cor. 6:9-10. Again consider the words of our Lord in John 8:44: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do" (which is the mark in the right hand). And in Eph. 2:2-3 He tells us that the behavior and conversation of the wicked is in the lusts of the flesh, always fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, for he is deceived in his mind by Satan (which is the mark in the forehead). And we could multiply these Scriptures by the hundreds to show that the wicked bear Satanís MARK of wickedness and rebellion against God, whereas the children of God have new hearts and new natures, with the Spirit of God indwelling them, thereby bearing His seal which is holiness. So let me state it again very clearly: EVERY MAN OUTSIDE OF CHRIST IS A CHILD OF THE DEVIL, and follows and worships him all the days of his life UNLESS he is made a new creature in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit of God.

 


Who were those spoken of in Rev. 20:4 who "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands"? They were once children of the devil, but in time they were taken from the kingdom of Satan by the Spirit of God in the first resurrection, so they were washed clean from all their wickedness, their sins and their defilement. Thus the mark of their former master was removed, and they never again returned to the worship of the beast. They bore the mark of their new Master, the Lord Jesus Christ-the mark of holiness-and were kept by the power of God through faith, so they never apostatized, as the dog who returns to his vomit again or as the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (II Pet. 2:20-22). They continued till death on the narrow road to heaven, living a godly life by the power of the Holy Spirit. As on earth they reigned with Christ, overcoming sin, Satan, and the world; so they reign now with Christ in heaven until His second coming when they, along with all of Godís people, will be given their new bodies in the resurrection (I Cor. 15:52).

 


Praise the Lord for such a salvation! that God in His mercy, grace and love, imputes our sins to Christ (Rom. 4:6-8), His righteousness to us, and the former things-our sins-never come into His mind again (Heb. 8:12; 10:17). For like those in Rev. 20:4 we too were once children of the devil and can say: "and such were some of us: but we are washed, but we are sanctified, but we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:11).
 


The Number 666


Now let us look again at Rev. 13 and show you the interpretation of the number of the beast: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: FOR IT IS THE NUMBER OF A MAN; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six", or 666 (vs. 18). Remember what is written here: the number is the number of man, 666. This is one short of the number seven which is the number of perfection in the Scriptures. Also remember the two statements that begin this verse: first it says: "Here is wisdom", and second it adds, "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast." It does not say, "Here is a riddle; let him that has a bright mind solve it." Neither does it say you can take the Greek alphabet and use them as numbers and figure out what or who the number 666 stands for, for then you can come up with anybodyís name; and I have heard of Hitler, Mussolini, the Pope, Henry Kissinger, and the guesses go on and on and on!

 


Oh no my friend! The Scriptures say, "here is wisdom"; and what is wisdom? It is applied knowledge or understanding! So he who has this wisdom and applies this understanding can know what the number of the beast is! How? by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, for it is He Who is the Teacher of every child of God. For when one has been taught by the Holy Spirit of the sin and plague of his own heart from the Word of God, then he knows and understands what the number of the beast means! There is in the very verse itself the clear understanding of its meaning; for we are told that it is the "NUMBER OF MAN" (and the word for man here stands for all mankind). This number, 666, is one short of seven which is the number of perfection; and the number 6 is given three times to show failure, failure, failure, nothing but failure, because this is what man is, apart from the grace of God. He is a sinner, a failure in all his attempts to reach perfection before God in himself. Therefore, he will stay in this condition, bearing the mark of his father the devil, until God in grace by His resurrection power delivers him from the grave of sin, translates him and brings him into His kingdom and into a state of perfection by the redemptive work of Christ applied to his heart by faith!


Now this is not some fanciful interpretation of mine to add to all that has been said and written on the mark of the beast, but it is one that I have prayerfully and carefully laid before the Lord for years as the Holy Spirit has worked in my understanding. It is an understanding based upon the Scriptures as a whole; and since the Book of Revelation is a part of the cannon of Scripture, then we can expect the Holy Spirit to be telling us the same thing here that He has said in all the other Scriptures. Therefore, the signs and symbols of this Book bring us great spiritual truths which are interpreted in the light of the rest of the Bible.  Oh dear friend, if you have not had the mark of your depravity taken away by the blood of Christ, cry to Him Who is able to save to the uttermost, that you may be like those in Rev. 20:4 who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Your hope is in none other than the Lord Jesus Christ!
 


Buying and Selling Forbidden


In the light of all we have studied, you will want to ask, "Why could not those in Rev. 13:7 buy or sell?" Listen, and let us hear what the Scriptures teach us as the Holy Spirit leads us! First, Rev. 20:7-9 tells us that Satan will be loosed for a little season just before the end of this age (the end of the world), to again deceive every soul and to keep the gospel from being preached. He will try by his power through the nations of this world to stamp out all signs of Christianity. He will persecute the saints of God and try to kill all of them, for his time will be short. And just when it seems that he will succeed, the Lord Jesus Christ will come in His glorious second coming to deliver the little remnant of His people from being destroyed (Rev. 20:9).


Now II Tim. 3:12 tells us that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution", which is true of the children of God now; but how much more in that time when all peoples and nations bearing the mark of the beast will be against the children of God, and they will have no protection but that from God Himself! In other words, then the children of God will be like those Hebrew children in Daniel 3: they will not bow to Satan and deny Christ, so they will be persecuted or put to death. their lives of holiness, godliness and righteousness will be such a contrast with the lives of the wicked (those who bear the mark of the beast) that every one will know they are children of God because they bear His seal, His name, His character and His holiness. The world will know that they do not bear their mark, the mark of wickedness, so nobody will sell to them, neither with they be able to sell to others. Therefore they are MARKED PEOPLE, marked for persecution and death, except God in His power hold, protect, feed and lead them every day.


My friend, would you and I stand like the three Hebrew children did if it meant our lives, our jobs, our money, our homes, our families, all the protection of the state and all our livelihood? There is coming a day when this will happen, and it could be soon. Is Christ, the Hope of glory, in you to enable you to stand? How do you stand in these evil days? Is Christ your all in all? Is your eye upon Him to follow Him no matter what may come upon you? If so, you can finish your lifeís course in Him and not as an apostate (one who has turned back to Satan and the world because his mark of wickedness has never been removed). If so, you will heed those words in Eph. 6:13: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand". But if you do not know Christ in that living, loving and lasting union, you will buckle under to the antichrist!  I pray that God will take His Word home to our hearts today and give us understanding!

 

THE TWO BEASTS
OF REVELATION 13


Now you will ask, "How does all of this correspond to the beasts described in Rev. 13?" For we read of a beast coming up out of the sea in vs. 1 and another beast coming up out of the earth in vs. 11. Listen Now! The understanding of what these two beasts represent is very important in understanding the mark of the beast and the workings of the dragon of 13:4 who gave his power to these two beasts. Remember, as we told you in our introduction, we must interpret this Book of Revelation symbolically, so these are not natural beasts. And the dragon is none other than Satan himself! Listen to his identification in Rev. 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Not only does he deceive the whole world, but II Tim. 2:26 tells us that they "are taken captive by him at his will", and I John 5:19 says, "the whole world lieth in wickedness." We know this is true, my friend, for every man, woman and child who is not in Christ daily bows down to the idol of this materialistic world, worshipping the counsel of the ungodly.

 


You see, Rev. 12 not only gives us the identity of the dragon (that old serpent, the devil), but it speaks of his hatred and enmity toward the Lord Jesus Christ, as he waited to devour Him as soon as He was born into this world, if it were possible (vs. 4). (This chapter begins another division of the Book of Revelation, showing another view of the first coming of Christ into the world in vv. 1-5). Then it speaks of Satanís being cast out of heaven onto the earth in these words: "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (vs. 12). So the last verse of this chapter only sets the stage for chapter 13 which shows us the wiles of Satan in his continued opposition against the church of the living God; "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."


Therefore, the beasts of Rev. 13 symbolize or represent the two areas in which Satan operates as the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and as the god of this world, or age (II Cor. 4:4). The first beast described in vv. 1-10 pictures the HAND of Satan, which is the persecuting power of Satan against the church of the living God, operating in and through the nations of this world and their governments. Speaking to the saints of God in I Pet. 5:8, the apostle says, "Be sober, be vigilant, because YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." And he is that roaring lion, my friend, speaking blasphemies against Christ and His church (Rev. 13:5-6) and seeking to destroy the church as he comes against us daily with his demon spirits: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12).

Therefore, we are told to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. We are to put on "the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:10,11,13), because Satan uses his HAND, his power, as a roaring lion, to intimidate and persecute the people of God. So we can sum up the MARK OF THE BEAST in these words: It is the God-opposing, Christ-rejecting, church-persecuting spirit of antichrist, wherever and whenever it manifests itself, as Satan works through the very depraved nature of man. Now while in the first beast we see the persecuting power of Satan, in the second we see his subtlety, for it is described in these words: "Öhe had two horns LIKE A LAMB, and he spake AS A DRAGON" (vs. 11). This is the MIND of Satan, who operates as AN ANGEL OF LIGHT through the false religions and philosophies of this world, causing those with his mark to worship him.

This is set forth clearly in II Cor. 11:13-15: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF is transformed into AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." So under the symbol of this second beast, we see how Satan operates through all his false prophets, all his false apostles and all his false religions, to cause every deceived soul to fall down and worship the beast, he himself, who is the god of this age (this present world system). In subtlety he deals with the souls of men to keep them deceived as to their true state before God. It is his one aim and desire to make the world religious without Christ, so he works through his imitations.


My friend, Satanís aim to imitate, to deceive and delude has never changed! This is the way he operates, and still today is operating. He has caused many to believe that what is written in the Book of Revelation is all to be in some far-away future, but as we have shown you, each of the seven divisions of Revelation tells us something as to the events upon this earth between our Lordís first and second coming; so all of this has been happening and it is happening right now! Satan has been and still is operating in these two areas: as a roaring lion and as an angel of light, to deceive the souls of men. And I believe that the children of God to whom this Book was written in the first century, clearly understood that this was the meaning of these two beasts of Rev. 13.
 

The Satanic World System


Now let us see, by the Holy Spirit directing us, if we can open up to your hearts the way Satan goes about deceiving the souls of men, working in and through these two beasts, his hand and his mind, as the roaring lion and as the angel of light. You see, II Thess. 2:9-10 tells us that this deception of the souls of men is, "AFTER THE WORKING OF SATAN with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." And Heb. 3:13 says this deception is caused by SIN, "the deceitfulness of sin". Oh my friend, SIN IS DECEITFUL; it deceives the hearts of men! You ask, "how?" Well, when the solicitation to sin comes, there is within every unsaved soul that which corresponds to the temptation from without, even his depraved, sinful nature, which causes the unsaved to be deceived and to follow Satan to eternal damnation. Therefore, if any soul is ever saved, it has to be by the grace of God, by the power of God, by the blood of Christ, with the Holy Spirit operating upon that soul to make him willing in the day of His power; for no man caught in the deception and net of Satan and sin can ever save or deliver himself out of this terrible snare.


We are warned about the deception of Satan in I John 2:15-17 where we read: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (So, blinded by the pleasure of sin, unsaved man has within him that which corresponds to the attractions of the world.) "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."


Now in the New Testament the word "world" has many different meanings: it is used to describe the universe, the earth, mankind, the Jews, Gentiles and the believers; and you can only know the meaning of each use of it by the context in which it is found. So what does the word "world" mean in the above verses of Scripture? My friend, the words "not of the Father" tell us: it means the SATANIC WORLD SYSTEM THE WORLD OVER WHICH Satan as the prince or god of this age rules; it is the ordered system of which he is the head, the demons (his fallen angels) are his emissaries, and the unsaved human race are his subjects as they bear his mark or image. So it is the sum- total of human life in the ordered world outside of Christ. It is that life considered apart from God, alienated from God, and hostile to God.  This Satanic world system is made up of those EARTHLY THINGS which SEDUCE men from God. Put it all together, and it is those PURPOSES, those PURSUITS, those PLEASURES, those PRACTICES, and those PLACES where God is not wanted. It might be religious, it might be cultivated, it might be refined, it might be intellectual, but it is all anti-God and anti-Christ and ruled by Satan. Any my friend, it matters not which world system it is-the religious world system, the educational system, the political, scientific, social, economical system or the world of PLEASURE-Satan is the god and ruler of them all.


Now the question is asked, "How does Satan rule all these systems, thereby deceiving the souls of men?" Listen now! I want you to keep in mind that Satan is the author of confusion! This is his work! It is by working with all power and deceivableness of unrighteousness that he keeps men deceived and tries to keep them from being saved. So every day, mankind moves in this sphere of these world systems, inhaling and inevitably exhaling the atmosphere of these signs and lying wonders with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. You see, Satan bombards mankind-the men, the women, the young people and the children that make up this world-through the eye-gate, the ear-gate and the mind-gate with his LIES and ERRORS about sin, death, hell and judgment! He bombards them with his INSINUATIONS against God and His Christ, and with his IMITATIONS and COUNTERFEITS in religion. He bombards them with DISHONESTY and FALSENESS about what true happiness is, with LEWDNESS and WICKEDNESS as being the true way of life. He bombards them with CORRUPTION and IMPURITY as the right moral character, and goes about calling evil good, and good evil; putting darkness for light and light for darkness; putting bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa. 5:20).


And what means does he use to bombard us with these things? My friend, he uses false preachers, political rallies, the editorial pages of our newspapers, the magazines, the bill boards along our streets and highways, the TV screens, movie houses and radios, and even bombards us with lies from person to person! Satan is working in each and every one of these ways as they all give their THOUGHTS, their IDEAS, their IMPRESSIONS, their OPINIONS, their VIEWS, their BELIEFS, or CONVICTIONS to all the subjects and circumstances that confront mankind. All of this is controlled by Satan and has his mark upon it, for in most cases they are half truths! All are passing their JUDGMENTS, their EVALUATIONS, and drawing their CONCLUSIONS as to what is right and what is wrong about the world and how to govern it. This all floats toward us, coming at us at all times TO KEEP US CONFUSED AS TO WHAT THE TRUTH REALLY IS!


We are given all kinds of MAXIMS, MORAL BELIEFS, THEORIES, and PRINCIPLES OF OPERATIONS as to how people should live and work. Each one gives his SPECULATIONS, his REASONINGS and THINKING as to what constitutes happiness. There is no absolute standard; all is relative to the IMPULSES, DESIRES and MOTIVES of the individual as each tells what STIMULATES him, and how you can get what you want, do what you want to do and be what you want to be by POSITIVE THINKING or MYSTICAL MEDITATION.  What confusion! So many voices, all telling of their HOPES and ASPIRATIONS, their DREAMS and EXPECTATIONS! At all times in all places, these things bombard the eye-gate, the ear-gate and the mind-gate of mankind; and they meet with reception in the affections because every man outside of Christ is a child of the devil (Jn. 8:44) and is taken captive by Satan at his will, blinded by the deceitfulness of sin. So by all these means Satan controls the hearts of men and holds them in his power. He uses all these ways to keep them DECEIVED as to the true state of their never-dying souls before God!


Beloved, I know what Iím talking about! It literally amazes me that any man is ever saved! You can turn the dial of a radio on Sunday evening and find a hundred different voices telling you what truth is; and how are you going to sort it out! If God in His sovereign grace and power does not come to a sinner to rescue him from this mass of confusion, sin, and the very clutches of Satan, no man would ever be saved! But in mercy and grace He reveals TRUTH to the soul, freeing his will and giving him power to flee to Christ and His blood for salvation and deliverance from Satanís kingdom.


Oh how I praise Him from the depths of my soul that this is what He has done for me and for all of His people! He has caused us to hear and understand, believe and act upon the TRUTH AS IT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, because God by His Spirit has written that truth upon our minds, in our hearts and our affections. He has set us free in Christ, causing us by faith to overcome this worldís system that Satan controls (I John 5:4,5), that we may follow the Lamb Who is Christ Jesus the Lord. And this is my prayer for you, my friend, that the living God by His Spirit will reveal Christ to your heart, for HE IS TRUTH! (John 14:6). "Hereby KNOW we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error" (I John 4:6).
 


THE LOOSING OF SATAN


We come now in our study of Rev. 20 to vv. 7-10 which read: "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: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 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."


Dear friend, these are the verses we will be studying for quite some time, expounding-by the grace of God as the Holy Spirit enables us-exactly what they mean and how they apply to us today. In order to do this, we will be taking it step by step, phrase by phrase and practically word by word as we go through these verses. Also, to understand what we will be studying here, we must remember the interpretation of the first six verses: Satan has been bound by our Lord since His first coming for the purpose of keeping him from deceiving the nations any longer as he did in Old Testament times, so the gospel would flow out freely to the nations of the earth. Satan remains bound in his prison for an indefinite period of time, (represented by the symbolic thousand years) THE PRESENT GOSPEL AGE, which began at the cross where our Lord spoiled principalities and powers, making a show of them openly and triumphing over them (Col. 2:15).


Now we refer back to Rev. 20:3 where we are told that after this indefinite period of time-after this present gospel age-Satan must be LOOSED FOR A LITTLE SEASON. You see, it is at the closing of this earthís history of sin and sorrow that Satan will be loosed and again allowed free reign over the nations of the earth to keep the gospel from being preached. This loosing of Satan as described in these verses 7-10 of Rev. 10 corresponds to II Thess. 2:8-12 which will be fulfilled at this time: "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, even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE, that they all might be damnedÖ" Why? because they "believed not the truth" when it was preached unto them, "but had pleasure in unrighteousness."


My friend, can you see it? Satan has been bound since the cross that the gospel may freely be preached among the nations, yet there are those who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness; they persist in their ungodly ways and sin against light and against knowledge. Then when Satan is loosed and the true gospel is no longer preached, they will believe, but what they believe will be a LIE and a COUNTERFEIT, for they will be sent strong delusion from God! This will be the awful judgment, when God shall give the nations of the earth over to Satan at the end of this earthís history; they will be given over to reprobate minds as God takes away His grace and the constraining hand of His Holy Spirit. Satan will work through his two beasts described in Rev. 13-his hand and his mind-to keep the gospel from being preached any more among the nations; and they will believe a lie!


Then what is the lie the nations will believe? Having not obeyed the gospel which has been preached "in season and out of season" (II Tim. 4:2), they will believe Satanís lie of carnal christianity: that there is no need for bowing to the Lordship of Christ before having Him as Savior, that there is no need for the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction or for a holy life and righteous living! In his subtlety as an angel of light, (through the second beast of Rev. 13, his mind) Satan deceives them; and my friend he does this SO GRADUALLY, that it is almost IMPERCEPTIBLE. In fact, he is deceiving the religious world today, for even now we see many who "will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lustÖthey heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and theyÖturn away their ears from the truth", and turn unto fables (vv. 3-4 of II Tim. 4). Did you know that this false doctrine of carnal Christianity that is being promulgated in our day is only setting the stage for the loosing of Satan? This is that strong delusion from God, being sent to those who receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved!


With the restraining and convicting power of the truth removed, many will readily believe the lie out of hell that there is no God, no Christ, no life after death, no wrath, and no judgment, so they see no need for salvation or redemption through the blood of Christ. They will believe the lie that "every man is a god unto himself, so do what you want to do and live as you please; eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
Then when Satan is loosed, with the marked contrast of the lives of the children of God to those of the openly and religiously profane, he will use his hand to persecute and endeavor to stamp out all vestige of worship of the true and living God in Christ. As a roaring lion, he will bring all the power and forces at his command to try and stamp out all signs of Christianity! And how long this little season will be, we have no indication in the Word of God, but we do know that it will be right down at the end of this age, just before the second coming of our blessed Lord. This will be a time when there will be very few believers upon the earth; for it will be a time of great persecution and martyrdom! Then we will see the answer to our Lordís question in Luke 18:8 when He asked, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" No, there will be very few true children of God left!


And just when it seems that Satan has the victory, and the hounds of hell have seemingly triumphed over the church of the living God, at the height of persecution, our Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed with His mighty angels in His glorious second coming, "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (II Thes. 1:8-9). And when shall this be? "when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe" (vs. 10). All of this corresponds perfectly with Rev. 20:7-9, that at the end of the age, just when Satan and his forces have "compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved cityÖfire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them."


If you will study the Scriptures closely you will find that when our Lord comes back in His glorious second coming, TIME WILL BE NO MORE, the judgment will be set up, and this earth and age as we know it will be no more! And my friend, no man knows how much longer we have to wait for His second coming-it could be today, tomorrow, next year, ten years, a hundred years or maybe a thousand years from now-we just donít know. All we know is that He is coming again; and when He does, He will reward His children with an eternity with Him upon the new earth, and the wicked with eternal judgment and damnation in hell.


Listen now! I know it is widely taught and believed today by the majority of Christendom that the loosing of Satan will occur AFTER the second coming of Christ. It will be, it is claimed, towards the end of Christís supposed thousand-year reign upon the earth. They say our Lord Jesus is to reign on a literal throne in the city of Jerusalem. Then suddenly towards the end of this thousand years, His reign is to be challenged by Satan. they say that Christ and those who remain faithful to Him are to be contained in the city of Jerusalem. He and His army are seemingly helpless against the onslaught of Satan and his hosts, and only the miraculous intervention of God in sending fire form heaven will save the situation.


Do you realize that if this were true, it would mean that Christ would suffer a second humiliation? Even though all power has been given to Him, both in heaven and upon earth (Matt. 28:18), yet they say He must wait for a miraculous deliverance from the Father before He can be saved! But the Scriptures nowhere speak of a SECOND HUMILIATION for our blessed Lord, for His humiliation ended at the cross. therefore, to believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will again be put into a place of humiliation and need another deliverance, contradicts more than one Scripture which speaks of the second coming of Christ as being the culmination of all and the end of this earthís history as we know it. Instead of His being humiliated, it will be His enemies that will be brought down at His footstool, to confess Him as Lord and be brought into judgment! And as we have already shown you all through this series, Christ is not waiting to reign upon this earth in Jerusalem; He NOW REIGNS OVER ALL, upon the spiritual throne of David (Acts 2) for His reward at Calvary.
 


No Second Chance for the Sinner


My friend, it is upon my heart to warn you! To believe that there will be a SECOND CHANCE after Christ comes back is a doctrine born in hell! It is the confusion and lie of Satan! It has been a burden upon my heart for years to warn you of Godís righteous judgment that is coming upon the wicked at the return of Christ; my friend, there is NO SECOND CHANCE AFTER HIS SECOND COMING! There will be no seven-year tribulation period in which you might be saved after Christ comes! There will be no thousand-year reign of Christ on earth in Jerusalem, so thereís no chance for salvation then, God tells us in His Word that "NOW is the accepted time; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION" (II Cor. 6:2), for when Christ comes the second time, He is coming in judgment! This great eternal fact is everywhere present on the pages of Holy Writ; it is not something I have dreamed up. It is Godís teaching; it is Godís truth. Our Lord told us about it, and I desire by the grace of God to spell it out to you. Even though I know that this truth of Revelation 20 is diametrically opposed to what is preached from many pulpits today, I cannot waver one iota in the deliverance of the truth of Godís Word: When Christ returns the second time, He is coming in judgment upon the wicked and in mercy upon the righteous; and there is no time period between our Lordís second coming and the day of judgment!


"To the law and to the testimony" of Godís eternal Word! Let us see what He tells us in Jude 14-15: "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON ALL, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." The appearance of Christ here is at the day of Judgment!

 

Again, listen to II Thess. 1:6-9: "ÖWHEN THE LORD JESUS SHALL BE REVEALED FROM HEAVEN with his mighty angels"-and how is He coming?-"IN FLAMING FIRE TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." And this corresponds with Rev. 20:9 which says, "Öand fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." These Scriptures are very clear that Heís coming in judgment upon His enemies (and our enemies), for vs. 10 of Rev. 20 shows Him casting the devil "into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are" to be tormented day and night forever and ever. Again we see that He is coming the second time "to execute judgment upon ALL" (Jude 15), as the next verses of Rev. 20 tell us about the Great White Throne Judgment.  Then Heb. 9:27-28 also speaks of our Lordís coming in judgment upon the wicked and in mercy for the righteous: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION."
 


The Believerís Hope


Herein is the hope of the believer: the second coming of our Lord in power and great glory for His own. Listen to John 14:3: "ÖI will come again, and RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF: THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO." We read further of the believerís hope in I Cor. 15:51-54: "Behold, I shew 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. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."


I want you to notice that expression in vs. 54: "death is swallowed up in victory." This is the fulfillment of Isa. 25:8, and corresponds to I Cor. 15:25-26 where we read: "For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." You see, this is not done AT SOME SECRET RAPTURE after which there is a tribulation period and then a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth at Jerusalem, but it is done at His glorious second coming, "AT THE LAST TRUMP" (vs. 52), when He comes in grace for His people, and in judgment against the wicked. Death is swallowed up in victory when at the Great White Throne Judgment, death and hell are "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14)!


My friend, are you among the many thousands out there who say, "Well, when Christ comes back for His saints, then I know there are yet seven years left, so all I have to do is refuse to take the mark of the beast and I will be saved"? Then I pray that the Lord will give you ears to hear, for Godís Word takes that hope away from you! As soon as our Lord Jesus Christ comes back, according to Rev. 20:11, He shall set up the Great White Throne Judgment, and then what will you do? His second coming ends it all, and there will be NO SECOND CHANCE. This doctrine of a second chance after Christís return is confusion and the lie of Satan to deceive your soul and lull you to sleep until itís too late! The Word of God speaks only of today: "NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION, NOW is the accepted time" (II Cor. 6:2). Judgment is coming and tomorrow will be too late! You might even die today, and then what? Think about it! What about your soul today? Do you know Christ? Are you trusting Christ today? Have you obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and closed in with Him? If He comes today, are you prepared?



Christ is Coming From Heaven


So to say that these verses in Rev. 20 picture Christ again upon earth before the day of judgment is to contradict more than one Scripture! Listen again to II Thess. 1:7: "Öwhen the Lord Jesus shall be revealed FROM HEAVEN with his mighty angels." And I Thess. 4:16 also tells us, "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." His glorious second coming is FROM HEAVEN! So I ask, if what the vast majority of Christendom teaches today is true, how could Christ come from heaven if He were bodily upon earth during the so-called millennium which they say will take place before the judgment? "Well," you say, "Heís coming the first time for His saints and in seven years Heís coming with His saints, and then is ushered in the thousand years, and then come the judgment." No, my friend, neither your Bible nor my Bible reads that there are two or three, or four stages to the second coming of Christ! There were not two, three or four stages to His first coming! He came the first time, born in Bethlehem, to be humiliated for our sins upon Calvaryís cross; and the angels told His disciples in Acts 1:11 that thus He would come back the second time: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN."

 


Oh my friend, my prayer is that God, in His mercy, will undeceive you today, so you will see that this teaching of two, three and four stages to our Lordís second coming is false, and that thereís no second chance after the second coming. All of that is wrongly dividing the Word of truth; for all the Scriptures of Godís Word that speak of Jesus coming back, or Christ coming back, or the day of the Lord, or the day of God, speak of the same thing: the SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Heíll only come back one time, and where the second coming of God finds you, eternity will hold you forever and forever.



THE GENERAL
RESURRECTION AND
JUDGMENT


Now weíve given you many Scriptures from the New Testament, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the second coming of our Lord Jesus ushers in the day of judgment. In other words, the Scriptures teach that there is to be a general resurrection and a general judgment! Christ is coming at the same time for the saved and the lost; for the saved in grace and glory, and for the lost in righteous judgment. And my friend, though this may be strange teaching to a lot of people, Iím on Biblical grounds and church history grounds. Iíve made a diligent study into all of this, and have found that all we hear today about the secret rapture, the seven-year period of tribulation and the millennium, has only been in existence for the last 150 years! But we cannot get away from the plain teaching of Godís Word. A pivotal Scripture proving the general resurrection and the general judgment at the second coming of Christ is John 5:28-29: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

 


My dear friend, those who reject this doctrine of Scripture which teaches a general resurrection and a general judgment, have truly not set before these Scriptures to receive their clear meaning from the Holy Spirit! For you see, these verses in John 5, more than any others, set at naught the teaching of today, that Christ is coming for His saints at a secret rapture, and then seven years later He is coming with His saints to set up a rule of a thousand years upon this earth from Jerusalem, and then at the end of the thousand years, the wicked shall be raised and judged! They read that ALL that are in the graves shall be raised at one time! There is no time period between the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked!

 


But this is not the only portion of Scripture that teaches this! This same truth is set forth in II Tim. 4:1 in these words: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (or the living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." You see dear friend, Christ is going to judge the living-those who have been delivered from their sins-and He is going to judge the dead-those who are still dead in trespasses and in sins. And when will He do this? At His appearing, which is His second coming! Then in Acts 17:31 we read: "God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." Again we see this truth: all men, saved and lost, shall appear before the judgment throne of Christ at His second coming.

 


Also in Rom. 14:10 the apostle Paul tells us: "Öwe shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (the saved as well as the lost, the wicked as well as the righteous). Again, in II Cor. 5:10-11 He puts it a little stronger in these words: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade menÖ" And why did Paul put that phrase in there: "knowing the terror of the Lord"? because we shall ALL appear before that Judgment! You see, the righteous are to stand there to be judged according to their works, that they may receive their rewards and to be witnesses against the wicked. And at the same time, the wicked are to stand there to be judged according to their works that are written in the books, after which they will be cast out from the presence of the Lord, to suffer an eternity under Godís wrath in the lake of fire for ever and forever.
 

Sudden Destruction!


Oh my friend, I must warn you! Christís coming will be sudden; there will be no warning then! All the Scriptures which speak of our Lordís second coming, picture Him coming suddenly; we have no Scriptures that give us any signs of His coming! Listen to Godís Word! Our Lord Himself, speaking to His disciples in Acts 1:7 said: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." In these words He was saying that the times and the seasons-the signs of His coming-are known only to the Father! And these are the same words that He spoke to His disciples there in the Olivet discourse in Matt. 24:36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Also in that same chapter He said, "Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up."


And what our Lord said in the gospels, the apostles said in the Epistles, that is, that our Lord was coming as a thief in the night. My friend, a thief never gives you any warning when he is coming! He comes when men are sleeping! So in I Thess. 5:1 Paul tells us: "But of the times and of the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." Brother Peter tells us the same thing in II Pet. 3:10: "Öthe 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." And then the apostle John in Rev. 16:15 warns us of the same thing: "Behold, I come as a thief, Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."


Did you notice that Paul, Peter and John all said the same thing their blessed Lord said? They all tell us that His coming will be sudden, as a thief in the night, and that no man knows when that time will be. I donít care how many books on prophesy you have read, or how many signs youíve been given; there is no man who knows the day, nor the week, nor the month, nor the year, nor the decade, nor the century, nor the millennium in which the Lord Jesus Christ is coming Back! My Lord said, NO MAN KNOWETH THE DAY NOR THE HOUR when He is coming again (Matt. 24:36), so Iím going to believe My Lord and not the books or words of men!  Sudden destruction! What a warning! And is this not the same teaching of our Lord in Matt. 24:37? "Öas the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." It shall be sudden destruction! As it came suddenly then, it shall come suddenly again when our Lord returns in His second coming.



No Secret Rapture

 


So you see, all through the Scriptures the believer is told to watch, for we know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh! And this is set forth in so many of our Lordís parables, especially in the parable of the unfaithful servants of Matt. 24, and also in the parable of the ten virgins in Matt. 25: five were wise and five were foolish! We are told to WATCH! Why? because the Scriptures nowhere teach that the second coming of Christ is to be in two parts, one in a secret rapture for His saints and then one with His saints to set up a thousand-year reign on earth! Rather, as I trust you have seen in our studies, all throughout the Word of God, the Scriptures teach ONE second coming of Christ, which will be the end of the world as we know it. For I Cor. 15:23-26 says, "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christís at his coming. Then -the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." This is the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev. 20; this is the fulfillment of II Pet. 3 when "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" (vs. 10).  And my friend, seeing that these things are coming, what manner of men ought you and I to be, in all manner of holiness and godliness before Him! Should we not be "looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, (who know Him) according to his promise, look for NEW HEAVENS

 

AND A NEW EARTH, WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS." (II Pet. 3:11-13).
Oh that I could persuade each one of you outside of Christ today to "FLEE FROM THE WRATH TO COME"! Flee to Christ, for He alone is the safe hiding place from the wrath of God! Donít believe Satanís lie that youíll yet have a second chance after Christ comes! Oh no, dear friend, God is calling you to repentance today; He is calling you even through these feeble lips of mine to be reconciled to God (II Cor. 5:20), to lay down your arms of rebellion, to hoist the white flag of surrender and seek God while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Isa. 55:6), confess your sins before God and cry unto Him for mercy, looking only to the Lord Jesus Christ Who has the power of salvation. It is only in Him that God will save sinners; it is only by the blood of Christ that we can have our sins forgiven and washed away; it is only in Christís righteousness that we can stand justified before God. This looking, this coming is by faith, the going outside of ourselves to the only One Whom God has set forth to save us (Acts 4:12). My friend, I plead with you today! Go to your Bible and search it out; you cannot find anywhere that there is a second chance for you after the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Judgment is coming, oh where will you hide?
 

(Click Here For Chapter 3 of this series on Revelation Twenty)


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