We’re going to go into the book of Revelation, God’s gift to Jesus so that everyone would get to know God better because when you see Jesus, you’ve seen the Father. That was the plan. It’s the most unique book in the whole Bible. It connects all the other pieces. All of a sudden, hundreds and hundreds of verses from everywhere else are put into their specific piece of the puzzle and Revelation is the cover of the puzzle box. It’s an illustration of the whole Bible.
We’re in our 19th stop as we’re studying expositionally. When I was being trained in ministry, the pastor that trained me said that he was an expositor, but he told us that we were training with him. He said I’ll just tell you what that means. I’m an explanatory preacher. He said I explain to people how, using the Bible, they go from their Bible back to the Old Testament or back to the 1st century. I take them through the Bible back to the 1st century then I show them how that impacts them today. He said, the problem with many preachers is they get everybody back in the Old Testament and they never get them home. They leave them there and they’re wandering around confused. He said an explanatory preacher explains the Bible so that people all of a sudden can say, ah, now I know what God meant to them. That’s the primary interpretation so now I know what He wants me to do. He said you always have to get them home.
I want to get you home with this idea. When will Earth finally get a perfect climate? I told you at the beginning of the week that microplastics are now found in the highest mountains of the world. They’re being carried by the winds. National Geographic did an amazing study showing that microplastics are now embedded into ocean life. As they’re going through with their gills, sifting through the water, they’re getting all this microplastic. Two weeks ago, an MD took his syringe and when he was doing a blood draw, it was the first recorded time that a medical doctor was able to extract microplastic from a bloodstream. That’s only one problem with our climate. One. When are we going to get a perfect climate?
Let’s pray. Father, I ask for Your wisdom that is from above; that is first pure, then peaceable and gentle and easily entreated and full of mercy and good fruits without partiality and without hypocrisy to rule in our lives. That’s just when we let the word of Christ richly dwell in us. I pray these students would get a hunger to invest the 72 hours it takes to really be in Your word every year at least. Just 72 hours need to be set aside to read. Then beyond that, I pray that they would meditate, devotionally study, and be transformed. For Christ’s sake, we pray. Amen. Okay.
When is the Earth going to get a perfect environment? We already know, that’s our fifth and sixth stop. It’s taken us 18 class hours to get through the first four. Now, in this hour, we’re going through the next two of the seven events. The whole book of Revelation can be distilled down to seven very clear, logical, successive events.
Number one, it’s Christ’s Church on Earth. It even tells where they lived. Jesus comes there to Patmos and the seven churches. Then it’s Christ’s Church in Heaven and we see them, and we see ourselves in the future bowing down and worshiping. Then all that awful stuff happens from chapters 6 to 18. Then the Tribulation. Then Jesus comes back like we just saw. Remember I was telling you that at that seventh bowl the earthquake and every mountain and every island; everything’s moving. I said it was Him, the Lord, preparing the Earth for the Millennium. That’s what it is. Christ’s earthly millennial rule is going to start.
It’s preceded by, we’re right now on Earth and we have to be taken out. Jesus promised He was preparing a place. He said I’m going to come in like manner, at the moment and the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump and the dead are going to not be left behind. They’re going to rise first, and the living will join them. In Revelation 3 He says I’m going to keep you from the hour of wrath coming on the Earth. What we go to is that we’re gathering around His throne and we’re receiving our outfit to wear forever which is, as Revelation 19 says, our works. Not Christ finished once and for all salvation. You can’t earn that, but our good works, it says in chapter 19, how we live Christ, for His glory. The Tribulation hits: we covered that heavily. Then Christ returns in flaming fire, executing vengeance on all who rejected Him. He sets up His millennial rule. That’s what we’re looking at today, the implications of it. Even a perfect environment does not produce perfect people. It never has and never will. We see the rebellion, then the Great White Throne judgment, and then we enter Heaven. That is coming in our last session.
What are the steps to eternity? Armageddon and the Second Coming is just the first step of this transition. Zechariah 12 to 14, where the eyes are melting, the tongues are melting, and everything. By the way that was a description, what I read to you in Zechariah, of what happens with neutron bombs. There is a weapon that does that, that destroys organic life but doesn’t destroy everything else. The Lord does that by His presence and we read that and that’s His Second Coming. Immediately, Matthew 25:31 says we have the sheep and the goat judgment.
My wonderful wife always reminds me. She’s not here this morning. She’s getting all of our gear ready for the airport so we can hurry there to board the plane at 4:40 something and fly down and completely repeat this in Florida. I can’t wait. Look at chapter 25 verse 31. She always sits out there. When I say, as it says in Matthew, she raises her hand and waves it around. I go, oh, honey, that’s right, I have to read it because maybe they’re not following along in their Bible or maybe they don’t know it says that.
Look what it says in Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him.” The neat thing about God is He doesn’t exaggerate, and He doesn’t misspeak, and He doesn’t tell us anything there’s not a reason for. That’s the blessing of Bible study. The more you study it the more you see why He said what He said. Look what it says in verse 31, all the angels. This is the only time all the angels leave Heaven. Only a delegation, a stratia, came to the birth of Christ and were saying glory to God in the highest.
At the Second Coming of Christ they all come, “all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations.” As soon as Jesus’ feet touch down on the Mount of Olives, boom, it splits and the whole Earth; the topography, the climate, even whether or not there are poisonous spiders and poisonous snakes and whether or not there are carnivorous animals, all of that changes when He hits. He starts transforming the Earth back to being very much like the garden of Eden.
Look what He does at the start of it. “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those in His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'” And on He goes. What is going on here? This is the sheep and goat judgment. There are going to be people that survive the Tribulation. They’re not actively marching against God at Armageddon in Jerusalem and trying to kill the Jews and all the things that those people are doing at the Second Coming. They just are living in the ruins of their house, trying to survive and they’ve never received Christ. They rejected Him, but they survived. They got the mark, they made it. Those are the goats and those are not allowed into the Millennium.
Why am I telling you all that? The sheep and goat judgment says that only believers, believing Jews and believing Gentiles, enter the Millennium. The Millennium starts with sheep. That’s what we’re going to see in Revelation 21 to 6. God builds a Visitor Center. Ezekiel 40 to 48 is a huge amount of the Bible, bigger than two books of Philippians, bigger than a lot of New Testament epistles and it is just the section on the Millennial Temple. It’s God’s Visitor Center and at first, everybody that comes there is really excited because they believe in God. As a thousand years go on everyone’s having children in this perfect environment where there’s no sickness and there’s no pollution and there’s no drought and there’s no anything that’s bad and everything grows great. There are a lot of people, and the Visitor Center is to get them acquainted with the Gospel. Then we’re going to see the final rebellion, the Great White Throne, the Lake of Fire, then going to our Father’s house.
Whatever you think of Paradise being, that’s what Revelation 21 to 6 is. A lot of people think of Bora or Tahiti or somewhere out there. You think of Palm trees and clear water and beautiful air and puffy clouds, but you know what? Our world is dying. It’s not like that now. Revelation 20 is the end of climate change. The Earth is dying when you look at the pollution of our world.
Did you hear last week, 10% or 866 of the world’s species of trees are going to go extinct this decade through over forestation and through acid rain from the places that still are polluting the air? When the rain goes through the air it makes sulfur, which is sulfuric acid and it’s killing all these trees. The oceans are depleted of their abundant harvest of fish. Every year they’re having to go further out and deeper trying to find fish. Did you know, that’s why you don’t see red snapper that often on the menu? When I was your age, red snapper was what they were doing for the all-you-can-eat fish fry.
The reason was red snappers, those are fish that they were catching, were like six feet long. They were like mini whales. The problem is those things were like four and five, I don’t know how old they can live, but they were at least 400 years old. They’d been swimming around eating down at their level of the ocean for a long time and multiplying, but commercial fishermen got better and better at dropping those nets and dragging those nets. They didn’t just get the red snappers, they dragged everything in sight, all the levels of the biome, of the feeding chain or whatever. They had too many red snappers and it was very cheap and now there aren’t any more six foot long red snappers. They’re not living long enough to get big. You see, what we’re seeing around us, the oceans are depleted of the abundant harvest of fish.
When I pastored in Rhode Island, do you know what the old timers would say? We had Daughters of the American Revolution descendants attending the church and they had farms from the 1600s. They used to love to bring us over to their house for dinner and they would smoke the bacon in the smokehouse that was built in 1638. I didn’t know anything was still around from then. Their farms are from back then and they would tell us what Rhode Island was like that their great greats told them about.
They said that when they used to go to the ocean in Rhode Island, when you looked in the water it was jet black until you threw a rock in or put your foot in, and then it moved. They said lobsters lived on top of each other. They would go out with pitchforks and fill their wheelbarrows with lobsters to feed to the pigs. Lobsters were so abundant they were like ants. Do you ever go to a fancy restaurant and order lobster? It isn’t as plentiful as an ant anymore. You have to go out and risk your life and find them out in deep water and put your trap down. Everything is lessening.
When they used to plow in the Great Plains, they break up that soil that had never been used and they would plant, and everything grew gigantically. Now, if we don’t lace it with fertilizer nothing will grow. That’s what this whole Ukraine deal is doing. It cut off fertilizer production, which comes from natural gas, which Russia has a lot of, and they were making all this fertilizer. We’re really in a problem. The birds in Mexico City I’ve mentioned fall from smoke laced skies. Industrial waste has cast a blanket of death across farms and forests of the world.
Only God can fix it, so Paradise gets restored. Immediately after the Second Coming the Earth is renewed. The kingdom begins Christ’s reign. The wolf and the lamb, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the child, and the scorpion; everyone’s at peace. Jesus has come. The Millennium is here, He rules the nations. This era lasts a thousand years, Paradise is restored. Remember Milton’s Paradise Lost, that famous classic book from ancient times? This is God’s Paradise restored.
What does earthly paradise mean? All the armies are disbanded. Nobody’s training. The machinery of war is smelted down. Remember they turn the weapons of war into plowing gear. Jerusalem is the world’s capital. Wow. The 12 apostles are here judging the 12 tribes. The millennial temple is on the crown of Moriah’s hill. Poverty is unknown. Everyone has all their heart can desire. There are no prisons, no hospitals, no mental institutions, no barracks, no saloons, no houses of prostitution, no gambling casinos, and no homes for the aged and infirmed. Those are just whispered about as stuff from the past. That’s what’s going on in earthly paradise.
Look how God describes it in chapter 20, the first three verses. “I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Remember we started last week, and I had you say a thousand and that’s when you first started learning to respond. “A thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit,” verse 3, “and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” That is a phenomenal portion of scripture.
What’s the pit? It’s the bottomless pit. This is when Satan, who has been confined to Earth since chapter 12, is now out of circulation. He’s actually put in the bottomless pit chained. He cannot roam around and cause problems. Remember he is not omnipresent, but he’s very mobile and he has all these demons and so they’re in the pit. What is this pit?
When I teach the Gospels, this is our chart from the Gospels. You see the cross right in the middle, on the angle there? That’s the Earth, that kind of egg shaped thing. You can see the cross, and when Jesus died He said to the thief dying next to Him, today you shall be with me where? Paradise, not Heaven. Where did He go? No, Jesus didn’t go to Heaven, yet. He goes later. He went to where all the dead were. Did you know that there was this place called the Grave or Hades, Sheol? That’s where you read about the rich man and Lazarus. There’s this place where everybody is, it’s not just in Luke. You ought to see what it says in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel talks about all the layers of the civilizations and as the new group comes in, it says the Assyrians look up, and here come the Babylonians, and the Babylonians look up, and there come the Persians. It’s this place where all humans that have ever lived are still alive and they’re still on Earth and they’re in this place. Half of it, it’s the egg with the flames in the forest, half of it is a place of torment. That’s where the rich man finds himself. He says, ah, could you stick your finger in water and cool my tongue? I’m in torment. I’m in the flames. He’s not in Hell. Nobody’s in Hell yet, until we see them thrown in like a fire at the Second Coming so it’s yet future.
Look at this: Paradise, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43. Do you remember there was the Paradise of God in the Garden of Eden? Remember the cherubim were guarding the garden once Adam and Eve sinned? They couldn’t come in and the Tree of Life was there. Where’d it go? The word paradise Jesus calls the happy side of this place called Sheol, the Grave. It appears to have two compartments: one where Abraham, Moses, and all of them are and one where the rich man and all the ones in torment and agony are.
Jesus is crucified. He goes to Paradise. Then He cuts over and goes to the abyss. That’s where Satan’s going to be chained. Right now, Satan’s not chained there. The destroyer is in there and all those monster things we studied in chapter 9. How many of you got that? Chapter 9. Come on. Oh, you guys, they’re going to think that you’re too smart. They check how many get right and how many wrong and you guys are going to just be too smart. They’re going to think that you’re too smart and make it harder.
The abyss is in Luke 8:31, the demons didn’t want to go there. It’s in Revelation 9 that you remember. It’s in Revelation 20, the chain there reminds us that’s where Satan is taken right now, the pit, the bottomless pit. You notice there’s a little, like a rotten spot in the abyss, that Tartarus place. Oh, that’s what’s so fun about Bible study. Did you know that Jude and 2 Peter talk about that place? That’s where the worst of the worst is, the ones who are in everlasting chains under darkness are kept there because they were trying to destroy all humanity at the flood. They infiltrated humanity and they were demonizing the whole world and all that was going on there. Jude talks about it.
What does Jesus do? It says in 1 Peter 3 that He went and preached to the spirits in prison. When you study 1 Peter that’s a curious verse. What happened? When I do the Gospels, I say He died on the cross. He went down during the three days to Paradise. He empties out Paradise. He goes over and proclaims His victory in the abyss. Then He steps out. See the brown Easter Sunday, and Resurrection Sunday tomb? He steps out of the tomb. Then He ascends on the 40th day and goes to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. The next time we find Paradise, it’s not down there anymore. In Revelation to the seven churches, it’s back in Heaven. It’s very interesting.
Notice what I didn’t talk about, the fire over there on the right, Gehenna, Lake of Fire. It talked about what I just read, in Matthew 25. It’s talked about in Revelation 19, and look, it’s where we’re headed right now. That’s just a little tour of the underworld I call it. Christ gives us this tour. He goes from the cross to Sheol, Paradise. He proclaims His victory to those in Tartarus. He steps out of the tomb, number four. He ascends after 40 days, which by the way, the Apostle Paul says at His ascension He led captivity captive and presents gifts and all. It’s almost like this triumphal procession to Heaven. He takes all those saints from Paradise with Him.
Oh, there’s a lot of stuff that is very interesting to study in Matthew 27. Do you remember when the veil was rented, and it says the earth rented, and there was a huge earthquake? It says that many graves were opened. It said that saints in graves all over Israel came to life, but you know what? It’s a curious verse. It says that they didn’t come out of the tomb until Jesus did. See, I think in pictures. Can you imagine that Passover weekend? You’re walking down through your field, and you see this ancient tomb is cracked open and you think, whoa, that earthquakes must have done it. You go over to examine it to see if there’s any treasure and as you lean overlooking down into that tomb, you see two eyes looking at you and they say “hi.” You say, who are you? They go, “oh, I’m Abi Shaddai from the Old Testament. I just was resurrected. Jesus is coming out of the tomb.” It says they were alive in those tombs and waiting to come out when Jesus came out. You ought to read chapter 27. I love reading the Bible. It’s better than fiction, science fiction, and all those romance novels put together. Then He ascends, He goes to Heaven, He’s on the right hand of the Father. When Paul goes to see Jesus in 2 Corinthians 12, he sees the Paradise of God and so does Revelation 2:7. Okay.
The Millennium is the rule of the Messiah. It says in verses 4 to 6, that they live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. This is the biggest piece of the Old Testament. 28% of the Old Testament is prophetic and a vast amount of the 28% are these passages. Look what it says. The Millennium covers 40 chapters of the Old Testament. There are promises to David, three chapters about the Millennium. 2 Samuel, remember his son, the son of David, would sit on the throne of David and rule. That’s in 2 Samuel 7. 2 Samuel 23, Psalm 89 is all about it.
Then it’s predicted in the psalms and prophets. 31 chapters are about the Millennium. Psalm 2, He will rule with the rod of iron. Do you remember all that that you’ve read? Psalm 45, Psalm 110, and Isaiah 2 talks about the transformation. Do 4 and 11 and 12 and 30. 35 is a huge millennial chapter and it’s long, it’s 60 verses. Chapter 61, chapter 66.
Let’s go to Isaiah 66. Talk about a fascinating verse. Remember, if I was teaching Isaiah I would tell you that Isaiah is a miniature Bible. How many chapters are in Isaiah? How many books are in the Bible? How many books are in the Old Testament? The first 39 chapters of Isaiah are just like the Old Testament. Look in chapter 40, we find John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Isaiah is like a miniature Bible, but wait a minute, who put the chapter divisions in? Bishop Langton in the 1200s. You have to be very careful about all the people that do these interesting studies. They say because all these verses have verse 66, verse 6, verse 16, and all this, and they make all these codes up from the Bible. You can immediately be skeptical because the verse numbers were not put in the Bible until the 16th century by Robert Stephanus, a printer in Geneva.
The chapter divisions were not put in the Bible until the 1200s by Bishop Stephen Langton who divided the huge Bible up into chapters, into 1,189 chapters. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England, and the Anglican Church in England. He did it so they could read the Bible through in a year and he gave them these little divisions. That’s how we got to reading three chapters or however many chapters to read through in a year, thanks to Langton who, by the way, also helped write the final edition of the Magna Carta. You’ve heard of the great charter of England. This guy was helping the Church and helping civilization.
The 66th chapter of Isaiah is about the Millennium and goes beyond. It says in verse 22 “‘For as the new HEAVENs and the new Earth which I will make shall remain before Me’ says the LORD.” That’s exactly how chapter 21 of Revelation starts, “and I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth” right out of Isaiah. “So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another.” In Heaven, they have Jewish stuff? I thought the Church replaced Israel. Did you know in Heaven and during the Millennium we revert to Sabbath feasts, priests? Wow.
So many people only read the New Testament that don’t even know about what God’s going to do because all scriptures are given by the inspiration of God. All scriptures are profitable for doctrine and reproof and for correction and instruction in righteousness, but that’s not all it says. Look at verse 23. “‘All flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD. ‘And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die.'” Their worm does not die? I think I’ve heard that somewhere. That’s exactly what Jesus says in the book of Mark when He’s talking about the Valley of Hinnom and Hell. That’s where Hell comes from, Gehenna, Ge-Hinnom, the Valley of Hinnom. Jesus is talking right from Isaiah and that’s what we find in Revelation 20; the Lake of Fire. “Their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Could you explain all that? Yup, if you come to my Isaiah class I will, but we’re in Revelation so keep going.
Third, the promise to Mary. Luke talks about her son sitting on the throne of David. Micah, whose goings forth had been of old from everlasting. All of these are millennial promises. Then look at the Lord’s prayer. “Thy kingdom come” is talking about not just me every day surrendering to the Lord, but it’s talking about this, the visible rule of God, which is first manifested in the Millennium.
Let’s distill down those 40 chapters into one chart. This is what happens in the Millennium. Creation has changed. Zechariah tells us about the physical changes. Isaiah tells us the curse is lifted, not removed, lifted. Creation is redeemed. Do you remember that Paul says in Romans 8 all the universe is groaning? The whole universe is groaning. We call it the laws of entropy. We call it the laws of thermodynamics, but the whole universe is headed toward heat death, toward slowing down until it finally stops. Death. It’s groaning. It sees it coming. Paul talks a lot about that in Romans.
Creation starts feeling that the law of sin and death is starting to recede, and the Earth is full of the Lord. What He always promised, the whole Earth, is that death and sin are still around, but everybody has their own land and it’s fruitful, but it just goes beyond. If you have time to read all 40 of those chapters, I’ll tell you some of the fun stuff.
One thing is nobody dies unless they are rebellious, so you get to come for the whole time to God’s Paradise. You can live the whole thousand years. If you survive the Tribulation and are a believer, you enter the Millennium and you get to live the whole thousand years. If you, as a believer, rebel, which should be a rarity, or if you’re a child of a believer who never becomes a believer and is living in the Millennium and rebels, you are cutoff. But the Lord even there, it says in Isaiah, gives them a hundred years before He cuts them off. He’s saying, come on, get with the program, but they don’t. Come to the Visitor Center and see me and all that.
Then it says, and I love this one, the Visitor Center I’m going to show you in just a minute is so massive. It’s seven miles by seven miles and all the world is supposed to come and walk through it. It’s like going through the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum or whatever you can think of. Everybody there and all the exhibits are talking about God. That’s what the millennial temple is. I’m going to show you what they’re going to be teaching them.
What happens if the people say it’s way too far for me to go all the way to Jerusalem? I live in Namibia, or I live in Japan or wherever. I know the world will be changed and all that, but there are still people from all the nations it says, and they’re all streaming into Jerusalem. Some of them are going to say it’s not interesting to me. They’re the rebels, by the way. Do you know what God does to them? You talk about society. Isaiah tells us if we don’t come to the Visitor Center, it will not rain on your field. Here you plant your crops and your neighbor plants their crops, and the sprinklers come on over there while yours are wilting and dying. All your neighbors know that you didn’t go to Jerusalem like you were supposed to. My Dean, when I went to Bible school, to seminary, spent years writing his dissertation just on the millennial kingdom and his dissertation was huge. Okay.
Next, as I was reading this, I found something in verses 7 and 8. Look at chapter 20 of Revelation. Remember we’re supposed to make this devotional. I read the Bible and first want to understand what it’s saying, that’s interpretation. Once you get the correct interpretation, then you can have endless applications. There are countless applications. These are my applications based on the truths. Number five, Satan’s hold on fallen humanity is super powerful. Satan is chained in the pit. The demons are confined to the pit. Earth gets close to perfect, yet as soon as Satan is released, he deceives everybody except the saints.
Verse 7. “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” The abyss, abussos, where those cosmic monsters are. “And will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the Earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.” Verse 9, “They went up on the breadth of the Earth and they surrounded the camp.” I love that. “The camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them.” Remember nothing new. Do you remember what happened to Nadab and Abihu? Remember all the rebels? One time God opened the earth and swallowed them, and another time fire went out and devoured them. It’s the same thing with the two witnesses and everything. The same thing with Elijah, fire devoured the enemies.
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast in the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the beast and the False Prophet already are.” How long have the beast and the False Prophet been in the Lake of Fire? A thousand years. They’re cast there, if you remember, at the end of chapter 19. Chapter 19 verse 20, “The beast was captured,” the Anti-Christ, “and with him the False Prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast.” These two were cast alive into the Lake of Fire. The first two into Hell. The very first occupants of Hell are Revelation 19:20. It’s the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet.
Look at chapter 20 in verse 9. It says, verse 7, verse 9, verse 10. There we go. I had to find it. The Devil is cast in where the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet already are. The third occupant of Hell, Lake of Fire, Gehenna, first the Anti-Christ, then the False Prophet, then the Devil himself. We’ll get into the others in a moment. Wow.
Hungry for God marks a believer as genuine. That’s the next observation. In verse 9 it talks about the camp of the saints. Did you know, all these people are scattered out in their farms and everything, and once a year they come through the Visitor Center, and all of a sudden some of them say I like this here? I’m going to camp here because I can’t get enough of God. I can’t get enough of His word. I can’t get enough of seeing the apostles sitting on the 12 thrones and seeing Christ coming down and seeing these saints coming from Heaven. I love this. Hungering for God marks believers as genuine. Amazingly the true believers in the Millennium begin to congregate around the throne, around the temple, around the city of Jerusalem. They can’t bear to be far from God. They display their love and adoration of God the Son by their chosen closeness to the millennial temple.
Remember, Jesus opens God’s Visitor Center. See He is not willing that any should perish. Even though everybody incoming to the Millennium is saved their children are not. Christianity is one generation away from extinction: constantly, always. Christian children are not shoe-ins, just because you’re a Christian parent doesn’t mean your kids are all going to be believers.
Remember I told you, I read the Bible through with a different topic every time. Do you know what I did one time? The family. Do you want to know my conclusion after reading through the whole Bible about family and marriage and parenting? There is no perfect Norman Rockwell family sitting around, hands folded, and eyes closed at Thanksgiving dinner politely praying for the meal. There’s not one of those families in the scripture except maybe one, maybe one.
Was Abraham’s family perfect? Are you kidding? Do you know how God describes his oldest son? He says he was a wild donkey of a man, Ishmael. That’s not positive. David’s kids were killing each other. David was killing other women’s husbands so he could have them. What a bad dysfunctional family that was. Some think that Paul might’ve been divorced because you couldn’t be a witness of the Sanhedrin unless you were married. Either his wife died, or he was divorced, that’s why he knew so much about marriage and everything else. Where’s the perfect family in the Bible? The one that everybody in America is buying a book and watching videos to have this perfect family, everybody’s perfect. Where is it?
There aren’t any in the Bible except one: Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist. It’s the only Spirit-filled family in the Bible where it says in Luke that Zechariah was full of the Spirit, Elizabeth was full of the Spirit, and John the Baptist was full of Spirit. How would you like to have him as your son? The guy wore a modified Tarzan outfit and ate bugs and lived out in the wilderness. We would say he was reclusive at the least, but that is a Spirit-filled family. There are no other examples of a wonderfully godly functioning father, a wonderful Spirit-filled godly functioning mother, and all the kids wonderfully following the Lord. There is no biblical record of those in all 1,189 chapters.
What should we do, give up? No. God didn’t show us one so that we all don’t try to copy one. What we’re supposed to do is be the right parent. Before you are the right parent you are the right man, the right woman, the biblical man, and woman. Then you have a biblical marriage, which the Bible has a lot to say about. Boy, that study is amazing. It changed everything about, once I met Bonnie, how I treated her because I saw what I was supposed to be. I’m not teaching about marriage and family so let’s get back to this.
Let’s look at the Visitor Center. Here it is. I brought you a picture. The millennial temple is described in Ezekiel 40 to 48 as 25,000 cubits by 25,000 cubits. A cubit is from here to here. It’s like 18, 16, 18 inches so it’s about a foot and a half. It’s 37,500 feet this way and 37,500 feet this way. There are 5,280 feet in a mile so it’s about seven miles by seven miles. That’s the millennial temple as described for eight chapters. Okay.
By the way, they go back to animal sacrifices during the Millennium. They go back to priests. God has rules for who can be a priest in the temple. They go back to the Jewish feasts in the temple during the Millennium. You say, wait a minute, all sacrifices are over. Mm hmm. They are for now. But, was anybody in the Old Testament saved by doing any of that stuff in Leviticus? No. They were all saved by trusting in a substitute. That’s why they had those lambs. They didn’t even have books back then. They certainly didn’t have their nice cell phone and podcasts, so they had to see visual things. They had to see a substitute was their only way of being saved. They had to bring a perfect substitute. They had to lay their hands on it. When you read Leviticus and all of that stuff it’s so exciting how the father came into the family, and he’d lay his hands on the head of the animal for the family and all their sins were symbolically placed there. Then the innocent one was slain, the blood was collected, and it was sprinkled, and God said your sins are covered again.
I remember when I used to pastor down south, I was a pastor in Georgia, and the men loved to wear white suits to church. They loved white, it went with the Lord. When we would have communion inevitably someone, one of the older ones, would spill his communion cup and what would he have on his beautiful white suit? A little stain. His wife opened that pocketbook up, and took out her Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder, a little one. You couldn’t see the stain anymore. They were clever. You could cover up just about anything from the potluck dinner and everything. That baby powder has talcum, and it causes respiratory problems. We didn’t know that. When I raised our kids, I did the diapers and I would go, poof! I’d give them a big blast of that white powder. It would just be floating in the air. I think I’ll probably die of it, but I hope they don’t, but they would put that white powder on. Did it take away the stain? Neither did any sacrifices in the Old Testament. They just talcum powdered them. They covered them up until Jesus came and everyone who sinned was temporarily covered up by the Old Testament sacrifices, which pointed forward to Christ’s coming. The whole old Testament, all that stuff, pointed to Christ coming.
What are they doing in the Millennium? Are people getting saved by offering animals? No, they’re still pointing. In the Old Testament, they pointed forward to Christ. When we celebrate communion, does communion save us? No, it’s a picture of a sacrifice. We point back. God chose to end everything by pointing back.
What we’re saying is God’s calendar, the prophetic meaning of the Jewish feasts is still relevant to us. When you find the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts, when you study the book of Acts, he’s always saying I want to make it back by Pentecost. I want to make it back by the feast. I want to do this and that. Paul, well into his Christian life, was still celebrating the feasts. Do you know what he told the Corinthians? He said, if you want to understand the work of Christ and communion, Christ is our Passover, that’s 1 Corinthians 5. Christ our Passover? See, what he’s saying is there’s a lot here that God designed to show us.
The seven feasts of Israel are, one the Passover, and as Paul reminds us completely portrays Christ’s death. If I was teaching Exodus, I would show you that. The Unleavened Bread portrays Christ’s burial. The Feast of Firstfruits, Jesus rose at the beginning, the very beginning of the Feast of Firstfruits, exactly 50 days. By the way, the Feast of First Fruits in Exodus is to be celebrated on the day after the Sabbath. That’s what it says in Exodus. What would the day after the Sabbath day be like? The Sabbath day is what day? Saturday. What’s the day after Saturday? It says in Exodus that the Feast of First Fruits would be on a Sunday.
It also says, look at this, that exactly seven Sabbath days plus one later, would be the Feast of Pentecost. The Feast of Firstfruits and 50 days later, the Feast of Pentecost, both were on Sundays and it’s beautifully reviewed in the Old Testament. That, of course, is when the Holy Spirit came and all that has already happened.
Now we have three of the Jewish feasts left. The Feast of Trumpets. Do you know what it says? At the last trump, the dead in Christ will rise and we’ll be caught up together with Him. Many believe that the Rapture is going to coincide with the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets. Then there’s the Day of Atonement. That’s when Christ comes and redeems back the Earth, that’s the Second Coming. Then it was the Feast of Tabernacle. That’s exactly a picture of the Millennium. That’s going to be one of the exhibits I bet, in the millennial Visitor Center. Okay.
Real quickly. Heaven is home, life is camping. That’s what I got out of chapter 20 verse 9. They surrounded the camp of the saints. Those millennial saints give up their farm and whatever comforts they had there to live in a temporary type of place in the camp. That’s what it says. What does it mean? They stay close to God’s temple. They stay close to each other. They are realizing more and more people in the world aren’t into God and they want to be around people with God. It’s always been God’s desire that we stay close to Him and not ever get comfortable with the world. It’s just another beautiful picture. Peter reminds us it’s like we’re living in a tent here. That’s what 2 Peter 1:13-14 says. Life is just camping. The best is yet to come. This world is not our home. We’re just pilgrims and strangers. Can you imagine what you, sitting here, could do with your life if you did not get totally into spending every moment of your life getting as much of this Earth as possible?
Bonnie, my wonderful wife, and our family went camping. I saw you. You’re very distracting. She’s back. We went camping with this family. He was an international banker. Unbelievable. I could talk a lot about him. He’d commute to London for his job and all this stuff. They had never been camping in their life. Their idea of camping was going to the Ritz Carlton or something. We said no, we’re going to sleep in tents and sleeping bags on the ground in the rain on Prince Edward Island. We were all watching Annie, what was her name? Not Annie. Anne with an E, that one. All that, the book and it’s all there. We watched it and the kids read the book and we wanted to go there so we went camping on Prince Edward Island. They had never been camping.
They came with this minivan, and they had more camping gear, I think than LL Bean. There they were, the van was just weighed down. When they put their tent up, they had a palace tent. We had a little tent because I know how hard it is to take it down in the rain and everything, so we just had a big enough tent for our family. When I put in the stakes, I just do them lightly with my foot, because you have to get them out in the middle of the night when you’re going to the ferry. Not Rick, he bought a mallet, the LL Bean mallet. He bought the extra length stakes. He put the first one in, his son held it, and he pounded it in like he was putting up a circus tent. He buried that peg out of sight.
On the last day, the ferry was at 6:00 AM. It was an hour’s drive away. We had to get up at 3:00 AM, pack, and it was pouring. What I did is I grabbed the kids, put them in the car, and when it was started, Bonnie sat in the car and watched them. I went back in, wrapped everything up and she would open the door and I’d throw it in, and she’d put it in. Then finally I ran around in the rain, and I pulled out all the steaks and I collapsed the tent and I put it in a garbage bag and gave it to Bonnie. We were sitting there in the car with the windshield wipers going and Rick was still on the first peg. I moved my headlights for him. I thought at least I can light him up. Finally, I felt really bad. I went out and got a claw thing I bought, and I pulled his stakes out to help him. I said don’t put your stakes in too deep. Life is camping. Heaven is home. Be a pilgrim and a stranger.
Satan’s released. When does it happen? At the end of the Millennium. It’s mind boggling to think that people could sink so low as to listen to Satan after a thousand years of seeing Jesus and a perfect world under His rule. Wow.
Fear the holiness of Jesus. No scene in the Bible grips our minds and stirs our souls as much as the last verse of Revelation 20. Imagine the scene: in one moment, all the angels and all the humans who have ever lived on this planet, perhaps as many as 40 billion, how did I get that number? You can look it up. Look at what they think of the global population, the cumulative amount of humans that have lived since the first ones.
In utter silence, the scene opens. In the glow of the glory, surrounding His throne, stand all the redeemed, and behind them are countless ranks of the angels. The four angelic creatures are swirling around and all the dead, small and great, are standing there. Every single person who’s ever lived. Not one soul escapes the summons to the court of God almighty. They’re called one by one; declared guilty by their own words. That’s the verse you have to memorize, Revelation 20 verse 15. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast in the Lake of Fire.” They’re cast in and Hell is worse than you ever thought. Nobody talked as much about Hell as Jesus did. When Jesus talks about Hell, He describes a place of horrible eternal darkness where people are absolutely conscious and it’s never ending. That’s where we’ll come back to.
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