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Revelation 20 - Part 1 (verses 1-8)  
By Brother Mike (12-7-13; 65 minutes)  


Verse 1:
 

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand

Here we are told that the apostle John saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. The Greek word for angel can be translated as messenger, and in that this messenger is having the key of the bottomless pit, we know that this messenger (angel) is Christ since, in the Bible, He is the only one spoken of as having anything to do with a key like this. For instance, we read of Christ having a key in Revelation 3: 

Re 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he [Christ] that is holy, he [Christ] that is true, he [Christ] that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth .  

And, we read of Christ having keys in Revelation 1: 

Re 1:18 I [Christ] am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death

We even actually read of Christ having the key of the bottomless pit in Revelation 9: 

Re 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star [Christ] fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him [Christ] was given the key of the bottomless pit

So there can be no doubt that the messenger (angel) who comes down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand is Christ Himself.  

Now what is the bottomless pit? It is the Greek word abussos, and it can be translated as abyss, pit, deep, or the immeasurable depth, but it is most commonly translated as bottomless pit in the King James Bible. Let's look at a few verses in order to get a better idea of what the bottomless pit might represent. First, we read in Romans 10, 

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above: )
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep [bottomless pit]? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead .)  

Without going into detail about the meaning of these verses, notice that the deep or bottomless pit is here equated with the place of the dead where Christ had to have descended to pay for our sins. This reveals that the bottomless pit is synonymous with death, and destruction, and hell because we know that Christ had to have endured these things in order to have paid for our sins. Furthermore, we read in Revelation 9: 

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star [Christ] fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit .
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit .

These verses portray in parabolic language what happened on May 21, 2011. The bottomless pit was opened, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The sun and the air being darkened are symbolic of the light of Christ unto salvation being removed from the world, so that what we see is that the world is now spiritually transformed into being like the bottomless pit, which is a place of hell, and death, and destruction because there is no longer any hope for any unsaved person to become saved. Every one of them is sure to die and be destroyed in the bottomless pit. And, that the bottomless pit is bottomless means that destruction and death of all the unsaved is endless. They will never come to life again, and will have no conscious existence ever again. They are to be annihilated forever. Such is the terrible judgment that has engulfed the whole world ever since May 21, 2011. 

So what we have seen is that the bottomless pit is a place of hell, and death, and destruction with no hope, ever, for eternal life. It's what, spiritually speaking, this world has become ever since May 21, 2011 when the bottomless pit was opened to engulf this entire world. Death is every where because there is no hope for salvation, which means that all the billions of unsaved people in the world are guaranteed to die either before or when the Lord shortly returns to completely annihilate this world and everyone in it, except, of course, His elect who are but a remnant of the whole; who will live in the new heaven and earth forevermore. 

Now what does it mean that Christ is having the key of the bottomless pit? What it means is as we read in Revelation 3:7, it is he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. In other words, it is only He who can open the bottomless pit, and it is only He who can close the bottomless pit. Humankind has no such power. Similarly, it is only Christ who can open the door to heaven, and it is only Christ who can shut the door to heaven. He has the key of David which leads to life, and He has the keys of hell and death which lead to everlasting destruction. And, what Christ did on May 21, 2011 was simultaneously close the door to heaven so that no one could any longer be saved, and open the bottomless pit to unleash hell and death upon all the unsaved inhabitants of the earth. So this world has now become identified with the bottomless pit, which is hell, death, and destruction as every unsaved person is already spiritually dead, and will very shortly be physically dead as well at the Lords appearing to complete judgment on this creation by its complete annihilation in the bottomless pit forevermore - never to see life again. 

Finally, we are told that the angel (Christ) not only has the key of the bottomless pit in His hand, but He has a great chain in His hand as well. Normally, in the Bible, a chain is what is used to bind someone, and as we shall discover, this is exactly what it is going to be used for in the next verse. 


Verse 2:
 

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years . .

In this verse we learn what the purpose of the chain is that is in the hand of Christ:  it is used to bind Satan for a thousand years. 

But when did this binding of Satan take place? In order to answer this question, we must search the Bible for anything which may have to do with the binding of Satan. As we search, we find several verses of importance during Jesus' earthly ministry. We read in Matthew 12, 

Mt 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house

And, again, in Mark 3, 

Mr 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house

In these verses, we see that Jesus is saying that during His earthly ministry that He could not plunder the strong man's house - Satan's house - unless He first bind the strong man who is Satan. And, that Christ began to plunder Satan's house in His earthly ministry is seen in Luke 10:

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name .
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you
.  

But where Satan was bound to the greatest extent was at the cross. We know this because it was only after the cross that the gospel began to go out to the entire world and thousands of people were saved from different nations. Up until the cross very few people had ever been saved, and the Word of God was for the most part kept within the nation of Israel. But, fifty days after the cross at Pentecost, the gospel began to go out to all the nations which led to thousands and thousands of people all of a sudden becoming saved from all the nations. We see this, for instance, in Acts 2:  

Ac 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls

And, again, in Acts 4: 

Ac 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand

Clearly, Satan was bound at the cross, and this binding of Satan meant that Satan could no longer frustrate God's plan to evangelize the world as he had done ever since the fall of mankind into sin about 11,000 years earlier; the result being that thousands and thousands were saved in a very short period of time after the cross. 

Next, we are told that he was bound for a thousand years. Are we to take this literally, or is it symbolic? Unfortunately, even though the context is clearly spiritual and symbolic - for Satan is a spirit and cannot be bound with a literal chain, or kept in a literal pit with a sealed lid on it - many have taken the thousand years to be literal. Most of these people think that the thousand years when Satan is bound has not even taken place yet, but will occur once Christ returns to earth to rule from the literal Jerusalem for a literal thousand years. This, of course, will never happen because, first of all, Satan was bound at the cross as we have seen, and, second of all, the thousand years is not to be taken literally. The number 1,000 is a factor of 10, and such numbers are normally symbolic of the completeness of whatever God has in view (see Bible Meaning of Number 10 ). Additionally, the number 1,000 is used symbolically in other places of the Bible. For instance, in Psalm 105:8. There we read, 

Ps 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations .  

Now God is not saying here that He has remembered his covenant forever, the word which He commanded to just a literal 1,000 generations, but, by using the number 1,000, God is teaching that He has remembered His covenant forever to the completeness of all generations however many they be. The number 1,000 is simply symbolic of the completeness of whatever is in view, and what is here in view is the completeness of generations, which are all generations. 

Again, we read in Psalm 50, 

Ps 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills

Does God mean by this that every beast of the forest is His, and so are only the cattle on a literal 1,000 hills? Of course not! By using the number 1,000, God is saying that the cattle upon the completeness of hills, which are all the hills in the world, are his. This is because the number 1,000 is symbolic of the completeness of whatever is in view, and, in this case, what is in view is that the cattle upon the completeness of hills, which are all the hills, are His.  

One final example can be seen in Psalm 84:10: 

Ps 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness .

This says that a day in the Lords courts is better than a thousand days outside His courts. But, since 1,000 days is symbolic of the completeness of days, which are all the days, this is really teaching that a day in the Lord's courts is better than all the days - not just a thousand days - that there are outside His courts. 

Now that we have seen how the number 1,000 is used symbolically in the Bible to mean the completeness of whatever is in view, let's return to our verse which states, 

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years . .

What we have learned is that Satan was bound by Christ at the cross for a thousand years, but the thousand years cannot be taken literally, but must refer to the completeness of whatever years that God has in view. What years could these be? We can come to realize what years the symbolism of the 1,000 years refers to when Satan was bound in the next verse of Revelation 20. 


Verse 3: 

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season

In this verse we read that after the thousand years are fulfilled that Satan must be loosed a little season. This little season is referring to the Great Tribulation period which began on May 21, 1988, and was completed on May 21, 2011 according to the Biblical Calendar of History . From this, we know that the symbolic 1,000 year period in which Satan was bound, and which began at the cross, ended on May 21, 1988 when Satan was loosed to bring judgment upon the churches. Therefore, the completeness of years in which Satan was bound is 1955 literal years from 33 AD (the cross) to May 21, 1988 (the beginning of the Great Tribulation). This is the period of time which the 1,000 years of Satan being bound symbolizes. Remember, the 1,000 years that Satan was bound is not a literal 1,000 years, but represents the completeness of whatever God has in view, and what He has in view in this case is the period from the cross in 33 AD to the beginning of the Great Tribulation on May 21, 1988. This period is also known as the Church Age so that we can say that the 1,000 years of Satan being bound symbolizes the Church Age, which was 1955 literal years in length. 

Now we read that Christ cast Satan into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him. Obviously, this cannot be taken literally even as the 1,000 years could not be taken literally, nor the chain taken literally; otherwise, Satan would be bound in a literal pit with a sealed lid on it while bound to a literal chain. If this were so, Satan would not be able to move or do anything, but we know that this was not the case, for throughout the Church Age Satan was quite active. We read of this in 1Peter 5, 

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour :
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world .  

So it is clear that Satan could not have been bound in a literal sense during the Church Age. But if Satan was not bound in a literal sense, exactly how was he bound? We get a sense for this when we go back to our verse. It says, 

"And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more . . ." 

From this, we realize that the reason that Satan was bound was so that he should deceive the nations no more. Now we understand! He was not bound in the literal sense that he could do nothing, but he was bound spiritually so that he could no longer deceive the nations. Up until the cross, Satan was permitted to keep the gospel for the most part from going to all the various nations of the world, but after being bound at the cross, the nations could no longer be deceived in the sense that the gospel was now free to go to the whole world because Satan had been bound. Satan, therefore, was bound spiritually in the sense that he could not frustrate God's plan to evangelize the world as he was so successful at doing during the times before the cross. He could still go about as a roaring lion and cause all kinds of trouble, but he could not keep God from saving all His elect in every nation.  


Verse 4: 

4 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

In this verse, the apostle John saw all the souls (not bodies) in heaven who had been martyred for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. We know that all these souls are saved because they were martyred for Jesus, and they 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. In that they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years first began when they were still on earth and were first saved. This is because once any of God's elect are saved, they are spiritually brought to life and raised up into heavenly places in Christ to reign and rule with Him. We read of this in Ephesians 2, 

Eph. 2:4  Bu t God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us ,
5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )
6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit [rule] together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

So when we are told that these martyrs lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years, it all began before they were martyred while still living on earth. It all began the instant in which they were saved. And this is also true for all of God's elect: the instant that they are saved, they begin living and reigning with Christ in the heavenly places, and this living and reigning is for all eternity. It begins in this life with their salvation, and then continues on into eternity with their living and reigning with Christ in heaven forevermore. 

But now we must seek to understand what it means that these martyrs ruled and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years beginning with when they were saved. We should already realize that these 1,000 years are not to be taken literally, but as we have learned previously, the number 1,000 is symbolic of the completeness of whatever is in view. In this case, we know that all of the elect are saved to rule and reign with Christ for all eternity; therefore, the 1,000 years must symbolize the completeness of all eternity. So in that the martyrs ruled and reigned for 1,000 years is symbolic of their rule and reign for all eternity from the point in which they had become saved. It doesn't matter that they had each become saved at different times; it can still be said that they lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years since the 1,000 years is symbolic of the completeness of all eternity from the point of salvation, and is not a literal 1,000 years. 

Now before leaving this verse, perhaps we should speak a little to the fact that these martyrs had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. In that these martyrs had not received the mark of the beast has nothing to do with a literal mark. The mark of the beast is simply a spiritual identification with Satan. All unsaved people have this mark, while all of the saved do not have this mark. So, in that these martyrs are said to have not received the mark of the beast simply means that they are saved. It does not mean that they have somehow been kept from some kind of physical mark on their literal forehead or hands, but it means that they are not identified with Satan in any way, and so are saved. 


Verse 5: 

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection

Here we are told that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. Since the 1,000 years being spoken about here cannot possibly be the same 1,000 years in which the martyrs in the previous verse lived and reigned with Christ, for that 1,000 years symbolized all eternity, these 1,000 years must be referring to the same 1,000 years in which Satan was bound from May 21, 33 AD until May 21, 1988 (verse 2) - this period of time is known as the Church Age. So in that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished must mean that they lived not again until after the period in which Satan was bound, which time after we know was the period of time known as the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when God brought His judgment against the churches. It was sometime during this period in which the rest of the dead lived again. 

But who are the rest of the dead who did live again at some time during the Great Tribulation? These are all those who were saved out of Great Tribulation as we read in Revelation 7: 

Re 7: 13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they ?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

These are all those who were saved during the Great Tribulation when the gospel went into the entire world outside of the churches beginning on September 7, 1994 and leading on up to Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 (the Latter Rain). Through the gospel message, which preached the impending Judgment Day on May 21, 2011, a great multitude were brought to life in salvation, so this is why it says that the rest of the dead lived (were brought to life) during this time period. But what does it mean that the rest of the dead lived not again until this time? This infers that they spiritually lived once before. When could this have been? The only possibility when it could be said that any of God's elect ever lived once before they were actually saved would have been in the loins of Adam before he fell into sin. Before Adam fell into sin (died), each and every one of God's elect did live in the loins of Adam because it would be through Adam's descendants that each of God's elect would eventually be born into existence. But when Adam died by falling into sin, so did all God's elect who were then still in his loins. This is why there is a sense in which they had to be brought back again into spiritual life with God at a later time, and why we read that the rest [God's elect who were to be saved during the Great Tribulation] lived not again until the thousand years were finished [until during the Great Tribulation period]. 

Now, we read, This is the first resurrection. What is the first resurrection? It is what we were just speaking about: it is the bringing to life spiritually (salvation) of God's elect. Each and every time one of the elect are saved, their once dead soul in Adam is now raised to life. This is the first resurrection. It is completely a spiritual resurrection. Once the elect have experienced the first resurrection, they still await the second resurrection when they will receive their new spiritual bodies on the Last Day of this world. We read of this first resurrection of the elect to spiritual life, for instance, in the following verses: 

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened [brought to life], who were dead in trespasses and sins . .

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [brought us to life] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) . .

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [brought to life] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses . .

So, the first resurrection takes place at the point of salvation of the elect by the quickening of God. Up until this point, the elect are dead in trespasses and sins through Adam, but once they are resurrected to life, their sins have been forgiven, and they now spiritually live, rule, and reign with Christ. As we read in Ephesians 2, 

Eph. 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us ,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit [rule] together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus .   


Verse 6: 

6 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 .  

Here we are told that blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. This is saying that all those who have been given a new resurrected soul by the quickening of God (those who are saved) are blessed and holy. The word blessed is sometimes translated as happy, and it carries with it the meaning of having been granted the special favor of God. The word holy, on the other hand, means to be set apart for service to God, and from God's legal standpoint, the ones made Holy, or set apart for service, have had all their sins paid for by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, their Lord. They are, therefore, without sin from a legal standpoint in the sight of God even though they will not actually be made to be without sin until they have left this world and shed their fleshly bodies. 

Next, we are told why it is that all those who have been saved in this world are blessed and holy: it is because on such the second death hath no power. We read of the second death in several places. First, we read in Revelation 2, 

Re 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death

But we don't begin to understand just what the second death is in reference to until we read the following two passages: 

Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death

By letting this latter verse interpret the previous verse, there can be no mistaking that the second death is taking part in the Lake of Fire. As we have learned before, the Lake of Fire is the spiritual judgment that God brought upon the world ever since May 21, 2011, which ends on the Last Day with all the unsaved being annihilated forevermore by fire. So the saved are blessed and holy because they do not have to experience the Lake of Fire. They will not be annihilated forevermore, but they will live forevermore in the new heaven and earth in their new spiritual bodies which will be given to them on the Last Day. This could possibly be on October 6-7, 2015 .

Now we are told that those who have experienced the first resurrection (the saved) do not only escape the second death in the Lake of Fire, for the second death has no power over them, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. First, what a privilege it is to be a priest of God. As priests, we are go-betweens of humankind and God. We can beseech the Lord on behalf of His people, and we can beseech the Lord on behalf of the unsaved. Although salvation is no longer possible for any unsaved person, we can still pray to the Lord that He might help an unsaved person in this life, for as we read in Matthew 5,

Mt 5:45 . . . he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust

Never should we have the attitude while on this earth that the unsaved deserve nothing but evil in this Day of Judgment, and, therefore, let's do nothing that might help them. No, rather, we ought to let God do the judging while we do well by praying for the unsaved that they might have a better life while on this earth. The Lord says, 

44 . . . Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you ;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust

What a privilege it is to be a priest for God! 

But, not only are we priests unto God, we are kings as well, and as our verse states, [we] shall reign with him a thousand years. Here, once again, the 1,000 years is symbolic of the completeness of years in which we, the elect, shall reign with Christ, which we know is for all eternity from the time that we were saved. As we pray, obey and aid in the proclamation of the Word of God, we are reigning with Christ. And when we pray anything according to His will, He hears us as we read in 1John 5, 

14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us :
15
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him

What an incredible promise! Every time we, the elect of God, pray something that is according to His will, He will do it. This places a tremendous amount of power in our hands as priests and kings of the Almighty, as He has chosen to use our prayers to work out His plans for this world, even the plans of a single person. As we pray according to His plan in the Bible, we are changing the world. Yes, blessed are the saved in Jesus Christ, for they shall live as priests and kings forevermore. 


Verse 7: 

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison

Back in verse 2, we learned that Satan was bound for 1,000 years, and that these 1,000 years were symbolic of the Church Age from May 21, 33 AD to May 21, 1988. Here in this verse we are told that when the 1,000 years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. So this reveals that on May 21, 1988 Satan was loosed from the bottomless pit. And, since Satan was originally put into the bottomless pit so that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled (verse 3), we know that when he was loosed from the pit, he was then able to deceive the nations once again. The way he deceived the nations before he was bound at the cross was to keep the world from being evangelized with the result being that the gospel was for the most part found only within the nation of Israel, and even within the nation of Israel, few ever became saved. But once Satan was bound at the cross, the gospel at Pentecost began to go out to all the nations of the world, and thousands and thousands began to become saved in a very short period of time. This saving of people in all the different nations continued to take place until on May 21, 1988 when the Church Age ended, and Satan was loosed from prison to once again deceive the nations. He was primarily able to deceive the nations by once again frustrating the evangelization of the world so that virtually no one was becoming saved in the world, but also by having been granted rule over all the churches as judgment against them. This resulted in there being no salvation available any longer through any church because the Holy Spirit was removed from all churches, and the Man of Sin (Satan), the Antichrist , the false Christ, took up His rule in all the churches. We read about this in 2Thessalonians 2: 

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him ,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first [the church falls away from truth], and that man of sin [Satan, the false Christ, the Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition ;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth [rules] in the temple [all churches] of God, shewing himself that he is God .
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time .
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he [the Holy Spirit] who now letteth will let, until he [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way [The Holy Spirit is taken out of the midst of the church beginning on May 21, 1988] .
8 And then shall that Wicked [Satan, the false Christ or Antichrist] be revealed [ruling all the churches], whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders ,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved .
11 And for this cause God shall send them [all churches] strong delusion, that they should believe a lie [the lie that the Holy Spirit, God, Christ is still saving and being worshipped in their churches]
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness .

So on May 21, 1988 Satan began his rule over all the churches, and the Great Tribulation began, which lasted for 23 years until Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011. And, 

Mt. 24:22 . . . except those days [of the Great Tribulation] should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days [were] shortened

What this is saying is that unless God brought about the Latter Rain on September 7, 1994 to begin saving a Great Multitude outside of and apart from all the churches, and, thus, in a sense, having shortened the Great Tribulation which would end on May 21, 2011, no more people would have been saved because ever since May 21, 1988 the Holy Spirit had been removed from all churches, and so no one was any longer being saved through any of the churches. Furthermore, very few, if any, were being saved out in the world. So, unless God shortened those days of the Great Tribulation by ushering in the Latter Rain, no more flesh (people) would have been saved. And, although God, through the Latter Rain, saved a Great Multitude outside of the churches, His judgment upon all the churches continued so that ever since May 21, 1988, no one has ever become saved through a church. The Church Age had come to an end on May 21, 1988, and God would never again use them to evangelize the world. His judgment had come upon them as we read, 

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God . .

And that time of judgment began on May 21, 1988 and continued all the way until Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011. Although the churches are no longer ruled over by Satan ever since Judgment Day, they have been cast into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, which is symbolism teaching that they have come under the final spiritual judgment of God, which will end on the Last Day with their complete annihilation along with this world and all the unsaved billions of people.  


Verse 8: 

8 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

In this verse, we are told what Satan will do when he is loosed from his pit on May 21, 1988: And [he] 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. There are a few things of interest in this verse such as who are the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth? What does it mean that the number of whom [the nations] is as the sand of the sea? What does it mean that the nations are in the four quarters of the earth? Who or what is Gog and Magog? And, what does it mean to gather them [the nations] together to battle

Let's begin by answering the first question: who are the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth? Perhaps the greatest hint which helps answer this question is that we are told that the number of [the nations] is as the sand of the sea. This phrase, as the sand of the sea carries with it a fairly specific meaning in the Bible. Yes, it is always figurative to express that the nations in our verse are a whole lot of people as the sand of the sea, but it means more than just that. It is normally used as a figure of speech to describe the number of the elect, or the number of the people of the nation of Israel, which as a type of the New Testament churches also describes the number of people of the churches. For instance, we read of what God said to Jacob: 

Ge 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed [Jacob's seed] as the sand of the sea , which cannot be numbered for multitude

In this verse, God says He would make the seed of Jacob as the sand of the sea. Since the seed of Jacob is spiritually referring to Christ and all those in Him, this is connecting the phrase, as the sand of the sea with the number of the elect. In other words God's elect would be as the sand of the sea in numbers. But, the phrase, as the sand of the sea is also used to describe the nation of Israel as we read in Romans 9, 

Ro 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved .   

Now, since national Israel was a type of the New Testament churches, we can assume that the phrase, as the sand of the sea can also describe the New Testament churches. So we have three possibilities as to who the nations are who Satan went out to deceive on May 21, 1988: the elect, the nation of Israel, or the churches. It couldn't have been God's elect because the elect would not be deceived by Satan in order to battle for him. And, it couldn't just be the nation of Israel (singular) since it is the nations (plural) which Satan went out to deceive in the four corners of the earth according to our verse. Therefore, we are left with one possibility, namely that the nations who Satan went out to deceive refer to the people from all the different nations in the churches throughout the world.

Next, let's answer the question, what does it mean that the number of whom [the nations] is as the sand of the sea? Actually, we already indirectly answered this question, but let's now state it directly: the number of whom [the nations] is as the sand of the sea simply means that the number of people in all the nations who are associated with the churches is a very great amount of people as the sand of the sea

Next, what does it mean that the nations are in the four quarters of the earth? The word for quarters is actually the word corners, so the question becomes, what does it mean that the nations are in the four corners of the earth? What this means is revealed in the meaning of the number four. The number 4 means worldwide (see Meaning of Bible Number 4 ); therefore, this is simply saying that the nations are worldwide, which is a rather obvious conclusion, but brought to the forefront nevertheless. 

Next, who or what is Gog and Magog? This question is actually answered at least in part in our verse. The verse states, 

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog . . . 

Here we are told that Gog and Magog are the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth. As we have learned, this means that Gog and Magog must somehow identify with the churches in all the nations of the world. We get a sense as to whom or what are Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38. First, we are told that Gog is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and his land is the land of Magog: 

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him ,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal . . . 

But then we are told that Gog and his many people are used to come up against the people of Israel in the latter days:  

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it ?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes

Since the people of Israel are a type of the New Testament churches, it is clear that what these verses are actually teaching is that in the latter days, which are the days close to the end, Satan who is typified by Gog will bring judgment against all the churches which are typified by the nation of Israel. So what we discover from this is that Gog represents Satan himself, and the land of Magog is the land of Satan, which typifies his kingdom. Gog is Satan, and Magog is his kingdom. Once we come to learn that Gog and Magog are terms to represent Satan (Gog) and his kingdom (Magog), then we know that all the churches in the nations that Satan went out to deceive are now identified with Satan and his kingdom ever since May 21, 1988 when Satan was loosed from the pit. This makes perfect sense because it was on this date when Satan was loosed from his prison to not only more firmly rule over the nations, but also to rule over all the churches of the nations in the entire world. 

Finally, the last question that we want to answer with respect to this verse is: what does it mean to gather them [the nations] together to battle? What this means is that when Satan was loosed from his prison on May 21, 1988, he went out to deceive the churches in all the nations with false gospels and teachings. This was gathering the nations together to battle against Christ. Of course, this was the Lord's plan to give the churches over to Satan so that he could spiritually ransack them as judgment against them, for the scripture had declared, 

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God . . . 

Now let's go back to our verse and give to it a summary description before closing this study. The verse reads, 

8 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

Here is the summary: And Satan who was loosed from his prison on May 21, 1988 went out to deceive all the churches in all the nations worldwide with false gospels and teachings. On this same date, the churches became a part of the kingdom of Satan (Magog) as Satan (Gog) began ruling over them as the false Christ, or Antichrist, in order to gather them together to battle against Christ. Satan gathered the churches together to battle against Christ by teaching to them lies in deception. The number of the people in all the churches in all the nations was a great number of people as the sand of the sea.


Now may the " LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

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