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Unveiling Revelation: Millennium & Great White Throne (Ep 65)
Episode 6530th May 2024 • My Ministry Mission • Jason McConnell
00:00:00 00:39:09

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As we crack open the Book of Revelation once again, we venture into chapter 20 which describes two awe-inspiring visions: the thousand year reign of Christ, known as the Millennium or Millennial Reign and the Great White Throne Judgment.

References to Bible Verses:

Revelation 20:1-15; Revelation 12:9-10; Ezekiel 28:14-16; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 9:1; Daniel 10:13; Genesis 3:1; Isaiah 2:1-5; Ezekiel 17:22-24; Isaiah 11:6-9; Revelation 4:4; Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 3:21; John 5:28-29; Genesis 15:18; 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Zechariah 14:16-17; Isaiah 65:20; Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 2:1-4; Ezekiel 47:8-9; Genesis 2:10; Ezekiel 38:2; John 5:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Luke 19:11-26; Revelation 2:17; Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; Romans 10:7; Mark 9:43-44; 2 Chronicles 28:1-3; Jeremiah 32:35; Matthew 25:41

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Jason: Welcome back to another Unveiling Revelation episode. We are your host, Jason.

Laura: And Laura.

Jason: As the dust settles and the forces of darkness lie broken, silence descends upon a world forever changed. An angel, radiating power and authority, clutches a key and a chain. His destination, a bottomless pit, a prison for an ancient evil, hearkening in a thousand year reign of peace.

Or is it a chilling prelude to a final storm?

Laura: As we crack open the Book of Revelation once again, we venture into Chapter 20, which describes two awe inspiring visions. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ, known as the Millennium or Millennial Reign, and the Great White Throne Judgment.

Jason: What's in store for humanity? Hang on tight, because the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Jason: "As the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, he was thrown down to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down. Who accuses them day and night before our God."

atan. The first is in Ezekiel:

Laura: Doing a deep dive into this key to the Bottomless Pit could probably fill an entire episode by itself. But just a quick reminder that back in Revelation 1:18, we know that Jesus had the keys of death and Hades, which are believed to be the keys to the bottomless pit. And in Revelation 9:1, after the fifth angel blew his horn, A star falling from heaven to earth was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.

r not. On one hand, in Daniel:

Personally, I believe this was an angel because it drives home the point that Satan is not God's equal. In fact, Leon Morris, an Australian theologian wrote, "The final importance of Satan is perhaps indicated in the fact that it was not the father who deals with him nor the Christ, but only an unnamed angel." I tend to agree with this. Plus God is perfectly capable of giving his angel the authority to bind Satan if he really wants to.

Laura: And of course, in Revelation 20:2-3, Satan is bound. "And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and 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.

Jason: So check this out. But during his time on earth, Satan tried to seal Jesus in a tomb and failed. Yet God seemed to have no problem sending some rando angel to take care of this. And I think it's implied that Satan's demonic army is also sealed in the pit along with him, though I don't believe scripture outright says so.

Laura: Yeah, I haven't noticed where it specifically says that, but there is a difference between this bottomless pit and the Lake of Fire that the Antichrist and the False Prophet were thrown into in the last episode. The Lake of Fire is a place of eternal torment and punishment. The Antichrist and False Prophet have been sentenced for eternity. And eventually, Satan and the rest of those who rejected Christ will also be cast there, almost like the one ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

Jason: So, it's funny you mention this. As we know, and hopefully the listeners know, the Lord of the Rings trilogy was profoundly influenced by Christianity, specifically the Catholic Church, as Tolkien admits to. However, what may not be common knowledge is that in the Silmarillion, it's revealed that Sauron was once good and is a fallen Vala. By the end of the trilogy, he is beyond redemption. Sound familiar?

Laura: I hope so.

Jason: The One Ring represents sin. And the struggle to destroy our sinful nature. But the struggle for Frodo to carry the ring to Mount Doom also represents Christ carrying the cross to Mount Calvary or Golgotha. So your analogy isn't too far off the mark.

Laura: And playing off the analogy that Frodo carrying the ring is like Jesus carrying the cross to Golgotha, even Jesus had to have help there towards the end. I do believe it was Simon the Cyrene who was enlisted to carry the cross the rest of the way, Much like Samwise finally carried Frodo into the heart of the mountain.

Jason: And this grab a trail was brought to you by Laura. And yes, I am blaming you for that back

Laura: I will take that blame fully.

Jason: Back to the subject. So understand the Satan's incarceration was not a means of punishment, but it was intended for restraint. This is meant to cut off his influence from earth. Now, some scholars interpret this as Satan literally being bound in a bottomless pit, whereas others interpret this as Satan being bound on a personal level, meaning his influence is cut off from taking life within the individuals of the earth.

Laura: And with most of what we've read so far, the answer could very well be both.

Jason: Yeah, it could. Now these verses also reveal that Satan's influence over us comes through deception, which means the most powerful weapon we have against him is the truth of God's work.

Laura: Very much so. If you recall, in Genesis 3:1, the serpent twists God's words just enough to cause Eve to question it. And nevermind the fact that Adam was standing right there next to her. The serpent gets Eve to doubt that God has their best interest at heart and gets her to believe that God is holding out on them. And he tries to do the same to us, to get us to doubt God's goodness.

Jason: Yep. And Joseph Sice summed this up well, when he wrote, "This diluting of men, getting them to accept and follow lies and false hopes under the persuasion that they are accepting and following truth. is great work in business of Satan in every age."

Laura: Now one topic we kinda touched on way back in episode 45 is this thousand years or the millennium. And There are a few different ways the church can interpret the millennium.

Jason: So the early church almost universally saw this as literally a thousand year reign of Christ on earth after his arrival. Then circa 300 Tychonias challenged this, suggesting it was a spiritual reign of Christ, giving birth to this idea of amillennialism, which Was picked up by Augustine as well as the Roman Catholic church and most Reformation theologies.

Laura: From amillennialism came the interpretation of postmillennialism suggesting that the millennial reign of Christ will happen in this age, but that the church would bring it to pass now because of these two interpretations, the original idea that Jesus will return before the millennial reign became known as pre millennialism retronyms at their finest, I suppose.

, as well as Ezekiel:

Laura: And I would be okay with that. But anyway,

moving on to the saints, starting in Revelation 20:4. "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the Word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."

thrones. Matthew:

Laura: Well, from the commentaries I've found, the consensus does seem to be that these are the saints from 1 Corinthians. And if you do go back to Revelation 3:21, it does say, "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my father on his throne."

Jason: Fair enough. Matthew Henry's commentaries seems to agree, as he writes about the reign of the saints, as those who receive this honor because they have suffered for Christ and faithfully rejected the mark of the beast. And they will be raised from the dead and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

Laura: Now, depending on one's view of the thousand year reign, your mileage may vary with these next few verses. Now, please remember that we are not trying to sway you, the listener, to believe one way or another. We're simply presenting information we found and how we understand what we're researching. That being said, our views will probably be evident in what we're presenting. Yay for disclaimers. It is interesting to note, however, that the designation a thousand years occurs six times in this chapter. which leads me to believe that it has to be a literal period of time.

Jason: That makes sense to me. Moving into Revelation 20:5-6, we read, "This is the first resurrection. The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended. Blessed and holy are those who share in this first resurrection. For them, the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years."

Laura: Now this first resurrection will include any who have died as believers in Christ. They will be physically raised from the dead to reign with Christ for a thousand years, if you hold to the premillennial viewpoint, that is. The second death, that is being thrown into the lake of fire, but we'll get there soon, will not be a concern for these believers, as they are assured of their eternal salvation. And I don't know about you, Jason, but it is a blessing to know we will be in this category.

Jason: Absolutely! I don't like fire. I think it's important to note that verse six reminds us that the church will be in heavenly bodies. And because of that, will not be subject to the deceptions of Satan that we're going to cover here shortly.

Laura: Now, the mention of a first resurrection implies that there will be a second resurrection, and there will be, after the millennial reign. My research suggests that this is when the unbelievers will be resurrected bodily to be judged at the great white throne, and again, we'll get there shortly. And yes, I realize I keep using the word shortly, maybe it does not mean what I think it means.

Jason: Inconceivable! Simply put, this first resurrection is for those dead in Jesus. They will be granted resurrection life and resurrection bodies. This is a resurrection of blessing, a resurrection of power, meaning power over the second death that you mentioned. And a resurrection of privilege, which is suggested in the part of the verse that reads, they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him.

Now, if we want to understand these two resurrections, just look at John 5:28-29, when Jesus said, "Do not be amazed at this for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out. Those who have done what is good will rise to live. And those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned." And these two events are separated by this thousand year period.

So Laura, what is happening during this millennium?

Laura: I'm glad you asked, Jason, but unfortunately not much is said in scripture regarding what will actually be happening during the thousand year reign of Christ. With Satan bound in the bottomless pit and unable to deceive the nations, it does stand to reason that this period of time will be peaceful and prosperous.

is time. For example, Genesis:

Jason: And then 2 Samuel 7:12-13, tell us that a son of David or Jesus will We'll be on the throne, restoring the monarchy

h, such as found in Zechariah:

mes rare. According to Isaiah:

Laura: One thing I did want to mention one of the pastors I listened to was showing an old map of the Dead Sea and then showing a It's a modern map of the Dead Sea, and there is a separation in one of the land bridges where the fresh water is now starting to flow into the Dead Sea. So that Ezekiel 47 is already started.

Jason: That's interesting.

Laura: Anyway, but getting back to Revelation, we pick up in chapter 20:7-8, which reads, "When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations, called Gog and Magog, in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle, a mighty army as numberless as sand along the seashore."

But just when people seem to be getting comfortable, Satan is released. Not paroled, not put on probation, but flat out freed. Why? Well, to see if those born during the last thousand years will continue to choose Christ Christ. When faced with a deceptive and possibly more attractive choice. What this tells me is that people will still marry and have children during the millennial reign.

Jason: Throughout human history, people tend to try to blame the environment for their sinful condition or bad behavior. William Host, a well known biblical teacher in Britain, wrote the following on this topic. "It will be proved once more that man, whatever his advantages and environment, apart from the grace of God and new birth remains at heart only evil and at enmity with God." At this point, Christ just finished a thousand year reign of peace. Now, given the average human lifespan today, that's about 40 generations. I mean, wow.

Laura: Yeah, wow. That's a long time. One commentary does suggest that these people who marry and have children will be those who survive the tribulation. As in, they didn't die, so they haven't yet had a bodily resurrection. So they still have their sin capacity, and while they are believers, their children may or may not choose that path for themselves.

And when Satan is released to deceive the nations, he will be focusing on the ones who've never experienced anything but the perfect environment during the thousand years. Gog and Magog symbolize all the forces of evil that band together against God. Magog was the grandson of Noah, that is the son of Noah's son, Japheth. And he settled in the nations to the north of Israel. And here in Revelation, Magog refers to the nations. And Gog is the ruler of the people of Magog.

Jason: Gog and Magog represent historical figures in the Old Testament. in Ezekiel 38 and 39. But here in Revelation, they represent something sinister related to end times. So historically, Magog was, as you said, one of Noah's grandsons, according to Genesis 2:10. And as you also mentioned, he was believed to have settled to the region far north of Israel, possibly even parts of Europe or northern Asia, as suggested in Ezekiel 38:2. The name Magog often refers to these Northern territories and their inhabitants who are sometimes described as Northern barbarians, whereas Gog is a leader or ruler from the land of Magog. So again, you already mentioned that Laura, there's not a lot known about Gog, but what we do know is that he comes from the north. and seeks to invade and plunder the land of Israel. So here in Revelation, Gog and Magog represent nations from all four corners of the earth coming together to do battle at the end of this millennium.

Laura: Since the earth is a sphere, does it actually have corners? But, please continue.

Jason: It depends on how you fold it. Anyway, so these terms are used symbolically in context of Revelation to represent this ultimate enemy of God's kingdom. Basically, all of the evil forces aligned against God's divine authority and his people. So maybe we can kind of see there's a correlation between this historical descendant of Magog wanting to defeat Israel and the symbolism of Gog and Magog wanting to defeat God's people.

Laura: That makes much more sense than the way it was originally written in scripture, but Anyway, in Revelation 20:9-10, we see that this battle is over before it begins. "They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them, and the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night, forever and ever."

Jason: I mean, talk about taking the wind out of Satan's sails. This vast satanic army comes marching in from all four corners of the world, united under this massive banner of hate towards God. And his people, they surround the city he loves, which is Jerusalem intent on just storming God's headquarters and doing their absolute worst. And what happens? God happens. That's what happens.

Laura: Again, there is no battle, just God pulling a Thanos on Satan and his armies. And no army jokes this time, I promise.

Jason: They are summarily eviscerated and the devil is tossed into the lake of fire along with his compadres, the beast and the false prophet to be tormented for eternity. Fitting in for the ruler of this world, the deceiver and accuser of God's people, that dragon, this vile old serpent. John Trapp, a 17th century English angelic and biblical commentator, wrote something kind of bone chilling about this idea of eternal, of the eternal aspect of hell.

He said it was "another hell in the midst of hell." And Waoodude suggested "There would be no way possible in the Greek language to state more emphatically The everlasting punishment of the lost, then here in mentioning both day and night and the expression of forever and ever, literally to the ages of ages."

So Laura, please tell me Satan and his followers are finally gone.

ite Throne. And in Revelation:

Jason: So the throne is great in status, in power and an authority and the color of white demonstrates purity and holiness. Plus this is a throne. It's the place of kingly sovereignty, but who is sitting on this throne? John 5:22 tells us that the judge is Jesus himself. "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son."

Laura: I mean, this could also be the fullness of the triune God. And the judgment could very well include the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But if we do pay attention to the verse you just read from John chapter 5, it is more likely that Jesus, who was the one who took the judgment on himself at the cross in the first place, was given the authority to be the final judge.

the latter half of Revelation:

Laura: However, don't go thinking we're off the hook though.

Jason: Wait, we're not

Laura: No, we're not. I mean, we're on a different hook, and it's a much better hook, in my opinion. In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Apostle Paul teaches us the following, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body. whether good or bad."

And we see a similar warning in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, "If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss, but yet will be saved, even though only as one escaping through the flames."

minas in Luke:

Laura: Now, there is some debate on whether the Judgment Seat of Christ happens just after the Rapture, or if it happens alongside the Great White Shark, er, Throne Judgment. Perhaps the bulk of the believers are judged just after the Rapture, and the rest are judged as they die. I mean, there really is no way to tell for certain.

f the condemned in Revelation:

So one correlation that comes to mind here is our own legal system. At the time of sentencing in a criminal trial, the defendant must stand before a judge and receive their punishment. Of course, in a criminal trial, there's a period of weighing evidence and determining truth, but Jesus doesn't need evidence. He knows truth because he is truth. Those standing before him in judgment will see their own sin and rejection more clearly than ever before.

Laura: These verses do lend credence to the thought that the judgments will occur simultaneously. Name? It's in the book. Okay, go right and get your reward. Not here? To the left with you. And now I'm about to head down a scrabbit trail of my own. Our names. What if by some random stroke of coincidence or something, more than one person had the exact same name as someone else? First, middle, and last. So, I mean, it is Jesus, and he can certainly distinguish one person from another.

But we can go back to Revelation 2:17. "Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious, I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it."

I mean, it does stand to reason that both names could be written in the Book of Life. Almost like an AKA. Granted, the believers here could be the ones who came to Christ after the rapture, and not the ones who were raptured. If indeed the rapture is pre Trib. And I do tend to stand by my statement in an earlier episode that everyone is judged according to what was recorded in the books. The judgment is two fold. I mean, first, we are judged by whether our name is in the Book of Life. If it is, we're judged based on our good works and rewarded accordingly.

Those who believed but did nothing to further the kingdom of God won't be rewarded as richly as someone who spent their time using their talents to share God's love with others, as we mentioned earlier in that passage from 1 Corinthians. Now don't get me wrong. Our right deeds are not what gets us into heaven, but they do determine our rewards once we get there.

Conversely, those whose names aren't found in the Book of Life will be faced with the record of their sins, and I would assume the severity of their punishment would reflect the severity of their sins. I mean, somebody who simply chose not to believe probably won't be punished on the same scale as a murderer or child molester, though the punishment for both will be severe, with no reprieve.

Jason: So back in episode 39, where this journey of unveiling revelation began, Laura mentioned that it is unclear whether those who became believers will go to the judgment seat of Christ, or if they will go to the great white throne of judgment. It's still not entirely clear, but I would like to suggest that anyone who came to Christ before the final battle Might still have a chance of avoiding the lake of fire.

But what we do know is that anyone whose name is not listed in the book of life will be judged according to his or her works. And this is not good news for them, because those who refuse to come to God by faith in Jesus will be judged and condemned by their works.

Laura: I tend to lean toward those who came to Christ before this moment, regardless if it was pre Rapture, sometime during the Tribulation, or sometime during the Millennial reign, will be written in the Book of Life, and therefore will escape the Great White Throne judgment. In Joel 2:32, he says, "But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. For some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord had said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called."

So when Peter was speaking in the book of Acts, that is chapter 2:16-21, if you want to go read the whole passage, he was quoting from the book of Joel and saying that on the day of Pentecost, the prophecy was being fulfilled and stating that the last days had arrived. Paul does the same in Romans. But in the book of Joel, in Hebrew, the word was Yahweh. The personal name for God, but the context in Paul's letter and in the book of Acts makes it clear that the word Lord refers to Jesus and not to God the Father.

Jason: Quite a scrabbit trail. So,

Laura: I didn't mean to, I'm sorry.

Jason: Circling back to Revelation, why, the question I have is, why does the sea give up the dead? And this represents a totality of judgment. Everyone's included. I mean, everyone. We can't stress this enough. Nobody is exempt from judgment, but we can avoid eternal condemnation through our faith in Jesus.

Chapter 20 ends with the end of death and Hades and those not written in the Book of Life in verses 14 and 15. "Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the Lake of Fire."

Laura: The last of sin and evil are now eliminated. We know this because death is the result of sin and somewhere else in scripture and I don't know it off the top of my head. Death is referred to as the last enemy. And it's now gone. Hades is also the result of sin, and it's gone too. The final vestiges of our unlawful and sinful ways are cast out. This is the fourth and final fall of Satan.

Jason: The lake of fire is obviously hell, but the Bible uses three words to describe where ungodly people go when they die. Sheol is a Hebrew word that represents a place of the dead, and it has no direct reference to torment, but it also isn't connected with eternal happiness. So basically, sheol represents the grave, and not much more.

Laura: Hades is a Greek word which better describes the world beyond. And in the Bible, it basically has the same meaning as Sheol. Now, in Revelation 9:1, it speaks of this bottomless pit we've talked about, a place called Abyssos. This is basically a prison, but it is considered part of the realm of the dead. And in fact, Romans 10:7 uses this word in the sense of Hades.

Jason: Geenna is another Greek word borrowed from Hebrew, and when Jesus spoke of hell in Mark 9:43-44, this is word he used. Now, understand that hell is a Greek translation of Hebrew, meaning Valley of Hinnom, which is a place outside of Jerusalem's walls, desecrated by Molech, worship and human sacrifice. 2 Corinthians 28:1-3 and Jeremiah 32-35. Now what's interesting is that this Valley Hinnom was also used as a garbage dump where trash was burned and the smoldering fire and festering worms made it a graphic and effective picture of the fate of the damned.

Laura: Well, regardless of what we call it, it's a place of eternal separation from God and loved ones. And a place of eternal torment and pain. So we just don't want to go there, literally.

explained by Jesus In Matthew:

Laura: And it really does boil down one choice. Do I choose to follow Jesus to declare him as Lord of my life and to believe that he is the son of God and that he alone is the way to heaven? Or do I not?

Jason: And we'll end the episode there. And this one actually fits into one recording. So there won't be an unveiling revelation episode next week.

Laura: Aww, man,

Jason: We are nearing the end of the series and I believe we have about two episodes left to record.

Laura: again. Aww, man.

Jason: I know it's, it's amazing to consider how much we've covered in our last seven months or so. That being said, we want to thank you for listening and invite you to return for the next in the unveiling revelation series. To do that, make sure you like subscribe or follow this podcast, or you can click the get podcast updates link in the show notes.

And I will personally deliver an email directly to your inbox when new episodes are released.

Laura: Oh, so you're gonna jump cyberspace? Very nice.

Jason: am very talented.

Laura: I do not disagree with you on that. Anyway,

Jason: As always, if you're enjoying this, please consider going to for some ideas on how to support the podcast until next time. Remember to read your Bibles. Remember to love each other and may the Lord bless you and keep you.

God bless everyone.

Laura: bye.



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