The world is just absolutely filled with deception and lies.
Why? Because the God of this age has blinded the minds of the people of this age who are perishing and they have bought into His deception because they love their sin. And so Satan comes out and he deceives the nations. From the shocking murders recently in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas to the violent crimes that we see images of every day in the news, it's clear that our society is not getting better. Instead, evil is growing, and in our governments, the will to fight against evil seems to be shrinking. So in times like these, is there any reason for hope? Well, as John MacArthur will show you, if you're a Christian, the answer is yes. There is a day coming when Christ will usher in an eternal kingdom of peace and joy and righteousness. John MacArthur shows you what Scripture says about that amazing day as he continues his study, When Jesus Comes, here on Grace to You.
And now with the lesson, here's John. The hope of the world is the return of Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His great glorious kingdom. As we know, God made a paradise originally, He called it Eden, and He will remake a paradise finally called the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Man didn't write the first chapter in history, and he won't write the last chapter. God wrote the first one, and God will write the last one.
God Himself will act to end man's day on this planet. And that very act of God in ending man's day and bringing about the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is the theme of the book of Revelation. In fact, we've called this book Back to the Future, an ancient prophetic book that is not only up to date, but takes us clear into the future, right to the very end. So this is a sweeping prophetic panorama, taking us from the present time, the age of the church, through the time of great judgment, the coming of Jesus Christ, the establishment of His kingdom, and then on into the eternal state. So in the flow, in the chronology of the book of Revelation, we come now to chapter 20 and find ourselves learning about the period of the kingdom. It's a period of one thousand years that is repeated over and over again in the first part of chapter 20. The term a thousand years or the thousand years is used numerous times, six or seven, as I recall.
This is a thousand-year period in which Christ will reign over a restored earth and universe. This marvelous kingdom is not just introduced here. In fact, it is merely further defined here. It was introduced among the prophets of the Old Testament. They spoke about it, as we saw. Jesus Himself spoke about it. New Testament writers spoke about it. But nowhere in the New Testament is there a clearer, more unmistakable presentation of the kingdom than right here in Revelation chapter 20. And here we have a framework, a sort of skeleton on which we can hang all the other prophecies about the kingdom.
This sort of gives us the basic structure. And so as we looked at these opening verses, we remember that in verses 1 to 3, as we're introduced to the kingdom, the first thing that happens is the removal of Satan. Then in verses 4 through 6, we came to the reign of saints, from the removal of Satan to the reign of saints. And then we came to the third point in verse 7, from the removal of Satan, the reign of saints, to the return of Satan. Now that takes us to the fourth point in verses 8 through 10 and the culminating point in this skeleton of the kingdom, the revolt of society. We go from the removal of Satan, the reign of saints, to the return of Satan and then the revolt of society. This is really an incredible thing that happens.
Reminds us, as I've been saying, that nothing external can change men. Judgment in the great tribulation, think of that. God is pouring out His fury, angels flying through heaven preaching the gospel, 144,000 witnesses preaching the gospel who are invincible, two witnesses preaching the gospel worldwide who rise from the dead right in full view of the whole world. Incredible, miraculous judgments falling all around people. They are hearing the gospel like it's never been preached before. It is everywhere.
The truth is everywhere. Judgment is everywhere. And people still hate God and hate Christ and will not repent. They will not change in a time of judgment and they will not change in a time of righteousness. They will not change in a time of war. They will not change in a time of peace. They will not change under Antichrist rule. They will not change under Christ's rule. Men love sin in every age and under every condition.
They love sin. And so, after a thousand years of a perfect environment, of the utopia paradise restored, Satan comes out, verse 8 then, and he'll come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war. The number of them is like the sand of the seashore and they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are also and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Now there you have the revolt of society and its end in very rapid fire staccato presentation. The deception comes in verse 8, the war in verse 9, and halfway through verse 9 the destruction and then into verse 10 where Satan himself is dealt with eternally. Now I want us to look at this and I think there's some really wonderful things to understand about it as we look about the details of this text. First of all, in verse 8, it says that Satan comes out to deceive the nations. Now we're not surprised by that because that's what he's made out of...made a career out of doing. He is a deceiver. In fact, back in chapter 12, verse 9, it calls him Satan who deceives the whole world.
I mean, that is his character, that is what he does. He is a deceiver ever and always. Back in verse 3 of this chapter, he is put into the abyss so he should not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years are finished. Now when he comes back, he will deceive people. In other words, it will not be clear to them why they're doing what they're doing.
They will be under a deception. His primary operation has always been to lead people astray from the truth, from reality. You wonder why, don't you? The world is just absolutely filled with deception and lies, false religions everywhere, false views of morality everywhere, false understandings of virtue everywhere.
Why? Because the God of this age has blinded the minds of the people of this age who are perishing and they have bought into his deception because they love their sin. And so Satan comes out and he deceives the nations. So while Satan is released and Satan is the deceiver, it is the plan of God that is being executed.
It is no different than when Jesus died on the cross and Peter reminded the people who killed Christ that they had done that, that they had killed the Prince of Life, they had wanted a murderer rather than the Prince of Life, but what they had done was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. And so God is behind the whole thing. It was God, of course, who gave the angel the authority to incarcerate Satan. It was God, of course, who provided the means of releasing him from the pit. It is God who allows him to pull off his deception and it is God who gathers by allowing the enterprise of Satan to run its course, all of these hosts against his people and against his land and against his city. So Satan, you will remember, always functions within the sovereignty of God.
He always functions within the stated purpose and goal of God in his redemptive intention. Now it says also in verse 8, that he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth. Obviously the earth is round. We don't take this as some indication that people in the Bible times thought the earth was square. It simply means east, west, north, and south, the points of a compass from all over the globe.
Back in chapter 7, four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, and there again is that same reference to east, west, north, and south, meaning global, the four points of the compass. So Satan's deception is global. I don't know how he pulls it off.
I don't know how he dispatches his demons because the Bible doesn't tell us. We don't know by what means he will bring about the deception. But the deception is going to basically at its heart be this kind of deception. We can conquer Christ.
That's at the heart of it. I mean, they would have to believe that or they wouldn't do this. And that's going to be a very, very interesting deception because after all they have lived under the rule of Christ for a thousand years and many of them have surely lived for hundreds of years because life will be elongated again. And they've lived a long time under the rule of Christ.
They have seen the rod of iron. It is well known to him that he rules with justice and righteousness and swiftness and there is no escaping. They understand his power. They understand his invincibility. So the deception has to involve the idea that they can actually overthrow Christ. And they are so deceived by Satan, but that's all within God's plan. So back to verse 8, the nations from all over the globe are deceived. And then it says, Gog and Magog. What is that?
Well, there's only one way to see that. That has to be the title for these enemies of the King of Kings. He gives them this title. They are called Gog and Magog. The world is going to march against Christ under that name, Gog and Magog. Now that is not a nondescript or an obscure name.
That is not something just pulled out of a hat. That has significance prophetically. Now Magog we know. Magog was the grandson of Noah. Magog was the second son of Japheth. You remember, Noah had three sons, Sham, Ham and Japheth. Japheth's second son, grandson of Noah therefore, was Magog. And Magog, this child of Japheth, founded a great kingdom and the great kingdom that Magog founded was north of the Black and Caspian Sea. In ancient times it was known as Scythia.
In modern times it is known as Russia. Scripture says little about this kingdom at all. All we know about it is just a little bit of the history of the name because he is a grandson of Noah.
And we know the location. We don't know much else. So from a historical standpoint, we don't know much. And furthermore, there is no way to know what Gog is. We have nothing about Gog by way of descriptive in Scripture. Perhaps it is best to refer to Gog as the leader of the Magog power. Magog being this great power, this great nation, this great group of people to the north and Gog perhaps being the leader of Magog. But we're not looking at history, we're looking at prophecy. And here is a prophecy that in the future, Gog and Magog are going to appear. And so Gog, if he is indeed the leader of the Magog power, here refers not to someone in the past but to someone in the future. Satan then comes back, collects a world of sinners from the corners of the earth.
They are given this title Gog and Magog because that represents the ancient enemy that descends on the people of God. Satan gets all these people, gathers them together for the war, the absolutely final battle. That's it, folks. There ain't no more. And we've seen a lot of battles through Revelation.
This is it. This is the last battle. The next battle that occurs in the Bible is the battle you have to find the right thing in the concordance because after this there aren't any battles left, the absolutely final battle. And it says amazingly, the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. Now that's hyperbole. It doesn't mean that if you could count the number of grains of sand in the seashores of the world, you'd know exactly how many soldiers there would be in that battle.
That's hyperbole. That is simply a way to illustrate this massive number. And that is so tragic that there will be a number...a massive number of people who will join Satan's rebellion. So it's going to be a...there's going to be a population explosion in the kingdom. People are going to live a long time. Conditions are going to be perfect. I told you the earth is going to be restored. Things are going to change. They're not going to be the natural enemies.
I don't think the disease factor's going to be there. I think when you saw Jesus coming in His first coming and healing and healing and banishing disease from Palestine, that was a taste of the age to come. It will be an age of healing, of wholeness, of long life, of high reproduction. It will be a time of peace. People won't be dying as they die today in wars and crime and all of that. And so people will live long, healthy lives and they will be highly reproductive.
There will be a population explosion exponentially that will create a massive population of millions on the earth by the time that thousand years is complete. The conditions of health and safety and peace are going to make a lot of people available for Satan to gather his host. Then verse 9, when the army was gathered, and it's an amazing thing to see how he's able to gather them from all over the earth, they came up with...up on the broad plain of the earth. Now remember, the earth has been reconfigured.
We remember that. We remember back, for example, in Revelation chapter 16 and verse 20, every island fled away and the mountains were not found. There has been, during the time of the Tribulation, a rearrangement of topography and geography. The holocaust of judgment has reshaped the earth. Mountains have come down and islands have fled away.
That indicates barriers being removed, access being given, the feature of the kingdom. And so this tremendous arm...it doesn't mean there is no hill anywhere, it just means that the earth is reconfigured. There is still a mount on which Zion exists and which Christ rules and there may still be some hills here and there as the prophets look toward that time. But in general, the earth is flattened out and so they come up on the broad plain of the earth and they surrounded the camp of the saints.
That's what they're after. The saints' encampment would be, of course, nothing other than the land of Israel. They go up against the people of God, the camp of the saints. That word camp is used in the New Testament to speak of a military encampment. It is used to speak of Roman barracks.
It is used in Acts 21, Acts 22, Acts 23 in that same way. So they come up against the camp of the saints and the saints will have encamped around the city and around the throne of Jesus Christ. They want to be where He is. They want to be in His glorious presence. So the capital city of the Millennial Kingdom is the point of attack where Christ reigns, where the saints live.
The battle is very brief. Fire came down from heaven and devoured them all. End of battle. Fast, sudden, instantaneous, and devastating.
What do you mean by that? Well, they were literally physically killed, which meant their body was dead and their soul then went into the realm of punishment, waiting to be resurrected because even the ungodly will be resurrected, as we will see in the next section. They were devoured. That means they were physically annihilated.
It's a devastating and horrible judgment and it's the last one. And then the final feature, verse 10, and the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are also and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. The devil, Satan, who led them, who deceived them, was now thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, a sulfur-like chemical fire realizing torment. Satan joins his cronies. Remember back in chapter 19, verse 20? The beast was seized, the false prophet was seized, and they've already been in the lake of fire for a thousand years. They've already been burning with fire and brimstone. And now Satan joins them. He joins his cronies.
His head is finally bruised. As John 12, 31 says, Now the ruler of this world shall be cast out and here is where that is fulfilled. And this is final hell. This is the final place.
This is the last place. Every kind of imaginable torment will be there. In every conceivable way in which this creature can suffer, he will suffer. In every conceivable way in which a fallen angel can suffer, he will suffer. And they are frankly inconceivable to me because I cannot comprehend how spiritual beings suffer in fire and brimstone. But God knows that.
And then this horrible statement. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. The day and night means it's unrelieved. There's never a moment when they're not tormented and they will be tormented without relief forever, forever and ever.
Absolutely astounding thought. In Revelation 14, 11, it says, Those who drink of the wine of the wrath of God, their smoke will go up forever and ever, the smoke of their torment and they have no rest day and night. And here it's talking about human beings, whereas in chapter 20 it's talking about Satan. Hell for Satan and his angels is eternal. But remember, the beast and the false prophet are human and for them it is eternal as well. You say, Are you sure hell is eternal as sure as I am that heaven is eternal? When it says forever and ever, it uses the same phrase in chapter 1 verse 6.
And there it says, To God be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. And if hell isn't forever and ever, then God isn't glorious forever and ever. People want to come along and deny that hell is forever and to do that you have to deny that God is forever because the same expression is used to describe Him. In chapter 1 verse 18 it says, Christ speaking, I was dead and behold I am alive forever. If hell is not forever, Christ is not forever and neither is heaven. But if God is forever and Christ is forever, then heaven is forever and so is hell.
There's no way around it. The language of Scripture is clear. Chapter 4 verse 9, The living creatures gave glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne to Him who lives forever and ever. Verse 10, We will worship Him who lives forever and ever. Chapter 5 verse 13, To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. Chapter 7 verse 12, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever.
Amen. Chapter 10 verse 6, They swore by Him who lives forever and ever who created heaven and the things in it, earth and the things in it, the sea and the things in it. Chapter 11 verse 15, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever. Whatever forever and ever means in connection with God and Christ, it means in connection with hell.
Eis tus Ionus. So the demise of Satan, the destruction of Satan was assured at the cross and executed at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. So what have we learned about the removal of Satan, the reign of saints, the return of Satan and the revolt of society? In understanding that, you have the picture of the kingdom.
And we've tried to fill in a lot of details over these four messages. This is the future of the world. It never ceases to astound me how that so many people in our society can run from pole to pole trying to figure out the future. And here it is. And what a wonderful reality. We're already citizens of that kingdom, right? Our citizenship is already there. That's our place. That's our home. He's our King. And we will come back with Him in glorified form to reign alongside those who are still living in human form. We will enjoy the kingdom even more than they. And we will rule under Christ carrying out His wishes on behalf of those who live in the world. We will enjoy the peace and righteousness, the joy, the power, the truth, the wisdom that reigns supreme. And we will rule with Christ.
What a glorious future. And it awaits us. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John has been our featured speaker for over five decades.
He's also Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary, and today's encouraging look at the future is part of John's end-time study called When Jesus Comes. Now, John, there's an interesting statement you've made before, and it relates well to the study that you've just finished. I think you've said once that the older you've become, the less often you laugh and the less often you cry.
So explain what you mean by that. Well, it's just that you accumulate life, and life doesn't get funnier. Life gets sadder. I mean, there's plenty to rejoice about. I don't want to say that I don't rejoice, because I do. There is a joy in my heart that is unassailable, that is unaffected by circumstances. It's the joy of the Lord over my salvation and His continual pouring out of grace upon grace in my life. It is the joy that comes from the countless blessings that pour down from heaven.
It is the joy that comes in the anticipation of eternal life. All of those joys are expanding, increasing joys, but at the same time, from a human viewpoint, the longer you live, the more you accumulate the sorrows of life. And because we live in a media explosion culture, we not only have to deal with our own sorrows, but we have to deal with everybody else's sorrows.
Once you had to deal with your own, maybe your family's and the people you knew. Now we have to deal with the pain of everybody on the planet, because they're all exposed to us in the media. It's just a sad world. It's a sorrow upon sorrow. And I think that was kind of our Lord's experience. There's nothing in the Bible that says God laughs and Jesus never laughed, but He did cry.
I think that's life. Understanding our Lord's view of the world brings a certain amount of sadness. You don't want to be uninformed about the end time.
You don't want to have your joy touched. We want you to get your hands on the series we've just done, When Jesus Comes, now available in seven CDs and an album, or you can download the seven messages free of charge at our website. Yes, friend, keeping your mind on Christ's future kingdom is really the key to knowing peace and joy in any circumstance, and so I would encourage you to download John's study titled, When Jesus Comes, and you will find that there is hope despite where the future seems to be headed.
So do that today. Our website, gty.org, and there you can download the series titled, When Jesus Comes, and many other prophecy studies also, and any of John's 3500 messages from decades of pulpit ministry. All of those are free at gty.org. Our website is also where you can go to get John's book, Because the Time is Near, which is a detailed, easy-to-read explanation of every verse in the book of Revelation. You might also want to order John's book simply titled, The Second Coming. That book examines key texts about the end times and how you can be ready for Christ's return.
For a clear look at what the Bible says about our Lord's coming kingdom, pick up those books by calling 800-55-GRACE, or go to gty.org. And friend, let me encourage you to follow us on social media. We regularly post about John's newest books and upcoming series and the latest Grace To You news, and you will find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Remember, Grace To You television airs this Sunday. You can go to our website and see when and what channels it's on, and then be here tomorrow for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 14:13:50 / 2023-03-27 14:24:03 / 10