Posted in millennial kingdom, prophecy, satan

Must satan be released?

“New Jerusalem” EPrata photo

I love prophecy. I always have. It is glorious to read in the Bible, uplifting me even when the Prophets pronounce doom. This is because I worship a God who prophesies, and He prophesies because He is Master of all history. He Prophesies because He can. He is the only One who can. And it’s especially uplifting when the prophecy comes true, namely, in the form of the Messiah who came and died and was resurrected on the third day.

remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,
(Isaiah 46:9-10, emphasis mine)

We worship a God who is that powerful. He ordains every event, every heart, every minutiae throughout the entire universe. Yet He tells us – His created creatures – what He is doing and will do.

For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7).

but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name. (John 20:31).

In the Word of God AKA the Bible, God has set down a progression of past and future history which we can read and study and understand. This is what is called fulfilled prophecy and unfulfilled prophecy. Prophecy remaining to be fulfilled includes (but is not limited to),

  1. The Rapture of the Church
  2. The Great Tribulation
  3. Jesus’ Second Coming to Earth
  4. Vanquishing of the Armies at Armageddon
  5. All Israel Will be Saved
  6. The Millennium Kingdom
  7. Satan Bound in the Pit during the Millennium Kingdom
  8. Satan released
  9. Great White Throne Judgment
  10. Destruction of earth and universe, New Heaven and New Earth
  11. Eternity
  12. ?
EPrata photo

What a powerful God. The word for that concept is omnipotent. Let’s get back to using proper Bible words for things, such as justification, sanctification, glorification, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotent, transcendence, immanence, etc.

Omnipotence is an attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all power (Psalm 115:3). He can do all things that do not conflict with His holy nature. God has the power to do anything He wants to do. However, God cannot do that which is contrary to His nature. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Omnipotence is referred to in Job 42:2.

I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.

As Jesus returns and protects all the recently converted Jews at Petra at the end of the Tribulation, and swings over to Armageddon and slays the collected armies, then lands on the Mount of Olives which then splits in two, Jesus subsequently sets up the kingdom on earth which will last for a thousand years.

The Millennium Kingdom is a period of time where all the promises to Israel about inhabiting their promised lands without need for fighting to keep it or to fend off attacking armies will be fulfilled. The Messiah will personally rule and reign and the world will be in peace.

The people who are alive at the end of the Tribulation will include both saved and unsaved. In order to determine who will be allowed to enter the Kingdom (saved) Jesus will gather all the nations in front of Him, and He will separate the believers from the unbelievers. This is the Sheep and Goats judgment, as explained here. (Matthew 25:32-33).

Jesus will also have an angel cast satan (and by implication, his demons) into the pit to be sealed in for 1000 years- the entire period of the Millennium Kingdom. (Revelation 20:1-2). Imagine those who are born into the Millennium Kingdom living with Jesus reigning perfectly and peacefully, and no satan or demons around to tempt them or to deceive the nations!

However, just because believers enter the Kingdom, it does not mean that their offspring will necessarily be believers. As people are born and grow up, they live on the planet under Jesus’ rule and outwardly submit, because He rules with a rod of iron. (Revelation 2:27). Inwardly they are rebelling. This is because people are still sinners with a sin-nature. Not all are glorified yet.

But Jesus knows this, and he has a plan.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3, emphasis mine).

The Master’s Seminary published an essay in Spring 2014 addressing the question, why must satan be released?

As with all previous “must statements,” it is not only that Satan will be released, as seen with the future tense in Rev 20:7 (“And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,”), but also Scripture plainly states that after the thousand years are over, Satan “must be released for a short time.” Chafer considered that, “No small mystery gathers around the fact that Satan is released from the abyss even for ‘a little season.’” He further refers to it as “this strange release.” Based on the normal use of “must” in other Scriptures, many scholars also mark its use in Rev 20:3. Thomas writes in regard to Satan’s release, “It is a divine necessity. . . for the dragon to be released ‘after these things.’” Swete concurs, writing in reference to the future release that “it must come; there is a necessity for it (dei).” Alford refers to the usage as “the dei of prophecy; must according to the necessity of God’s purposes.”

For it is written of satan’s final defeat:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10).

The Master’s Seminary article continues:

In addition to the other reasons, Satan must be released to deceive the nations and bring about not only the final rebellion, but also the final deaths of all humans who reject the Messiah. Further, God’s promise “to curse the ones who curse you” actually relates to all enemies of Israel and not only to the Gentile nations. In keeping with God’s Word, God curses Satan and throws him into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). Then when death has been abolished forever and after the Great White Throne judgment of the eternally damned (Rev 20:11–15), when all evil will have been divinely eradicated, then the new heavens and new earth—and New Jerusalem—will arrive.

And what a day that will be!

EPrata photo

Posted in church age, jesus, millennial kingdom, prophecy, rapture

What is ‘heaven’? Is it the Millennial Kingdom?

Sunday, I began a series looking at what the Bible says is heaven. There is more to is than just saying “if we’re redeemed we’re going to heaven.” Heaven is a term used synonymously for God. There is Paradise, where Jesus went between His death and resurrection (most likely). There’s the present heaven containing the redeemed souls. There will be a Millennium Kingdom. And then there will be the new heaven/eternity after the chapter of human history concludes. So let’s take a look at this wonderful, complex, eternal, real place called HEAVEN.

Previously I examined the terms “Abraham’s Bosom”, and Paradise. Today, let’s look at the Millennium Kingdom.

When we think of “heaven” we often think of the peaceable kingdom spoken of in Isaiah and depicted in Edward Hicks’ 62 versions of the Peaceable Kingdom paintings of the early 1830s.

Hicks’ series of images are based on Isaiah 11:6-8 and Isaiah 65:25. Here in the first line we see the correct part of the verse, commonly mis-spoken as “the lion shall lay down with the lamb”.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.

9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:25)

But even though all seems idyllic, this is not heaven. It is not even the new earth spoken of in 2 Peter 3:13.

Here is an overview of Bible history from the Days of His Flesh to future eternity. We are in the church age at present. These illustrations are from a pamphlet by Fred Overton Seminars. Click to enlarge.

The wolf shall lie down with the lamb during the Kingdom Age, which shall last for 1000 years. This is why it’s called “The Millennium Kingdom”, due to its prophesied length of time.

You see by the chart that we are in the Church Age. At some point, when the final elect soul will be redeemed, filling the quota Jesus has set for filling His church (Romans 11:25), we will be raptured. The trumpet will sound, and we who are living will fly upward and our bodies will be glorified instantly. The souls of the dead who died during the Church Age will also be resurrected and installed into a reconstituted glorified body and together we will meet Jesus in the air. It all hapens in the blink of an eye. This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

The Lord removes His Bride via the “catching up” because after that He will unleash His stored-up wrath onto an unbelieving world. The 7-year Tribulation will begin. The Bride is not appointed to wrath, so we are removed. (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10).

[Note to readers- I do not plan to debate the pretribulation rapture in the comments section. The pretribulation rapture is a biblical concept and can be learned of in many different studies here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, and here for starters!)

Of the Tribulation, Jesus said it will be the worst time on earth human flesh has ever known. (Matthew 24:21-22). This should give one pause, because He already has sent a worldwide judgment in the form of the Flood to drown everything with the breath of life, including almost all of humanity (except for Noah’s family aboard the Ark.) So the Tribulation will be worse.

Yet for all the horror predicted to befall the unbelieving world, many people will be redeemed and come to faith in Jesus during this Great Tribulation. Many of those will not die during the judgments, and when Jesus returns in the Second Coming, they will enter alive into the Kingdom Jesus will set up for 1000 years.

During the Tribulation, massive earth changes occur. This is actually UNcreation, or a reversal back to the original state of the earth prior to the Fall of Man during Adam and Eve’s time. The Flood reshaped the earth’s form. (Psalm 104:6-9). During the Tribulation, Mountains are flattened, islands flee away (Revelation 6:12-14). Great earthquakes occur, sending the earth back to its original shape and form. Think of the Tribulation as a renovation of the earth, or a re-shaping.

During the Millennium Kingdom period, earth is renovated, but not perfected.

  • Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isaiah 40:4)
  • The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. (Ezekiel 38:20)
  • The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. (Nahum 1:5)
  • And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. (Revelation 16:20)
  • Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. (Isaiah 60:21)
  • Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;  (Isaiah 35:5-6)
  • No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)
  • And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26) [Source Overton Seminars]

Jesus personally rules and reigns on earth from His Temple! If you read Ezekiel 40-48, especially Ezekiel 43:1-9, it is a description of the restored Temple and life on earth with Jesus as the center of worship. The Milennium Kingdom is the fulfillment of all His promises to Israel. Their will Messiah ruling among them, their lands are given to them, their life revolves around Jesus, who they have since recognized as THE promised King.

The animals are peaceful, there is no curse to make them have the fear and dread of man as happened after the Fall. (Genesis 9:2).

One of folk artist Edward Hicks’ 62 Peaceable Kingdom paintings

However, remember that when the Great Tribulation ended at His Second Coming, there were believers alive who entered the Kingdom? These people are mortal. They live long lives. They have babies and they live long lives. As the verse from Isaiah 65:20 says above, if such a one dies at age 100, they all say what a shame he died so young.

During this period, satan and his demons are bound in the abyss-jail. They are not present on earth to trouble mortal humans who are living in the Kingdom age and of course he is not bothering the us, the redeemed/glorified either. Jesus is ruling, David is reigning, people are living long lives, and there is no satan to bother them. How perfect!

Not so fast. The mortals born during the Kingdom Age will certainly enjoy peaceful Messianic rule, a non-cursed animal realm, and no temptations by satan or his demons- but they will still possess a sin nature. During the peaceful Milennium Kingdom, sin will be present. Hidden, but present.

At the end of the Milennium Age Satan is let out of the jail along with his demons. Satan quickly draws out the venomous sin that is in people, and believe it or not, they rebel against Jesus. It’s depressing to see how fast that satan can draw people to his side again, and not just a few either. All this is recorded in Revelation 20. Here is an excerpt.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10).

That is why the Milennium Age which occurs subsequent to the Great Tribulation and Second Coming is not “heaven”. It looks like it. It seems like it. But it isn’t. Sin is still present. Satan still has power to deceive. People still reject Jesus.

After the Millennial rebellion is put down, the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. This is when all the unredeemed dead of all ages are resurrected and judged according to their works. It’s the final dealing with sin. They are thrown into the Lake of Fire along with satan and his demons to begin their eternal punishment in their eternal bodies. Hell and Death are also thrown into the Lake of Fire too. The earth is melted in a fervent heat and completely remade. (2 Peter 3:10).

Remember, at the end of the Tribulation as the mortals entered the Millennium Kingdom, the earth still contained graves and bones. It still had death upon it. The Lord remakes earth completely new, and the heavens too. No taint of sin or death or hell will ever touch it again.

Tomorrow, the difference between the Present Heaven and the Future Heaven which is the Eternal State.

May these things encourage you and spark you to delve further into the wonderful promises of Jesus the Christ for His people!


Heaven introduction

Heaven part 1

Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspective Ministries

Talking to Your Children about Creation, Christ, and Heaven

Theological definition of heaven

Heaven: FALSE views of heaven

Sermon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Death and Heaven

Posted in creator of the universe, millennial kingdom, prophecy, sun, tribulation

Prophecy: A sun that will be seven times hotter but will not burn

In the Tribulation, agriculture will wither under a scorching sun.

Dorothea Lange, Abandoned farm north of Dalhart, TX. 1938.

At the end of the end days, during the Tribulation where all men living on the earth will be judged in wrath, there will be three sets of successively worsening judgments (or four sets, if the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10:1-4 are judgments).

There will first be the 7 Seal Judgments of Revelation 6, they open the Tribulation. Then the wrath of God is demonstrated through 7 Trumpet Judgments of Revelation 8-9. These are terrible judgments, but by God’s grace, some repent through them. After that there are the 7 Bowl Judgments. Revelation 15 opens with the 7 Bowl Judgments.

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. (Revelation 15:1).

These are the most terrible of all. They are so bad that no one is even allowed in the heavenly throne room sanctuary until they are concluded.

And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, 8and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. (Revelation 16:7-8)

One of the Bowl judgments God pours on the people of the earth the plague of a hot sun. By this point in the Tribulation, no one is repenting. They know that God is sending His wrath onto the world, but they shake their fist at Him and refuse to repent. By this time, battle lines have been set in eternal stone. In Revelation 13 people either took the mark of the beast and thereby signaling their worship of satan, sealing their doom, (Revelation 14:9-10), or they refused the mark, thereby signaling their worship of the Lamb who lives forever, sealing most to their martyrdom.

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9).

God makes the sun hotter, so hot that men will be on fire if they are exposed to it. God is powerful and controls the sun!

Let us look to a happier time, the Millennial Kingdom. God’s Prophets had much to say about this period in earth’s history, also. The Kingdom will be set up on earth after the Tribulation is over, and the Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints have been resurrected. Those who refused the mark of the beast and lived will populate this kingdom, too. Because they are mortal, they’ll re-populate the earth. It is at this time the resurrected Old Testament saints whom Jesus promised land and an earthly kingdom with Him (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Messiah) on the throne, will have all their promises fulfilled. This is Israel’s gift.

In Isaiah 30:23-25 we read that during this time of the Millennium Kingdom,

And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

John MacArthur says of this time:

In the Messianic Kingdom of that future day, agriculture, cattle raising, food production, and water resources will prosper. The prophet predicted the redemption of nature. (cf. Rom 8:19-21)

In Isaiah 30:26 we read of further blessings:

Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

The light of the sun will be seven times hotter?

MacArthur again:

The benefits from the natural bodies of light will be much greater. Increase of the intensity of their light will work to people’s advantage, not to their detriment as in Revelation 16:8-9.

In the Millennial Kingdom, a gentle, bright sun seven times
warmer will flourish the earth’s crops

When we read that God is sovereign overall creation, He is sovereign. He created the sun. As the Potter, He can make it do what He wills. During the Tribulation, it will be a mechanism for judgment, scorching men, who curse it. In the Millennium, the sun will be a mechanism for prosperity, and men will bless their Creator for giving them plenteous sunshine, healthful, glowing, and beautiful.

We groan, and cannot wait for redemption of our mortal bodies into glorified vessels worthy of seeing our Holy God. The creation groans too. When the creation is redeemed, it will rejoice also.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21).

This is how the creation will be set free. The sun will shine upon peaceable kingdom, over a flourishing agriculture, making men and crops thrive. Our Creator is majestic in power and sovereign over creation. He is to be worshiped, loved, praised. Our Jesus who was with God at the creation and who sustains all creation and without whom nothing was made that was made, is our hope. He is the hope of all creation. Our eternal Hope, who reigns forever.

Further Reading

The Glorious Return of Jesus Christ, part 1

Devotion: Three reassuring Signs 

Posted in millennial kingdom, prophecy, zechariah

Even the pots will be holy

And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the LORD.” And the pots in the house of the LORD shall be as the bowls before the altar.
EPrata photo

And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.

~Zechariah 14:20-21

EPrata photo

Pastor Steve Hadley once said while preaching through Zechariah, that pound for pound, Zechariah contains more prophecy than any other book of the bible, including Revelation. It is an astounding book, magnificent in its history, prophecy, and terrible beauty.

Here, we see the very end of Zechariah’s book, the last verse. Zechariah is speaking of the Day when Jesus (the coming Messiah, the Lord) will rule on earth during the Millennial kingdom. John Walvoord explains the verse in his commentary:

In that day holiness will characterize millennial life (cf. 8:3) whether it be in public life (the bells of the horses), religious life (the cooking pots in the LORD‘s house, the millennial temple, Ezek. 40–43), or private life (every pot in Jerusalem and Judah). Perhaps the general thought is the removal of a dichotomy between secular and sacred. In the Old Testament a Canaanite had become symbolic of anything ceremonially unclean and ungodly (the dishonest “merchant” in Hosea 12:7 is lit., “the Canaanite”). In the millennial temple no such defilement will occur. Thus Zechariah’s prophetic book which began with a call to repentance (Zech. 1:2–6) concludes with an affirmation that all will be holy to the LORD (14:20–21). Because He is the LORD Almighty and the Holy One, He will establish holiness throughout the glorious Millennium!

Lindsey, F. D. (1985). Zechariah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1571–1572). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

I like even better Gill’s Exposition. What a joyous time it will be, when ALL is holy!

Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts,…. Such will be the number of sacrifices and sacrificers, that the pots in the Lord’s house will not be sufficient; wherefore every pot, in city or country, shall be sanctified and devoted to holy uses:

and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein; this denotes, as before, the general holiness of the professors of religion in those times; and that there will be no difference in the vessels of the Lord’s house, or any distinction of Jew and Gentile; but they will be all spiritual worshippers, and offer up the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise to the Lord