THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE
READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS
(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)
Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.
Trip 1094: The Final Victory—Part 4; The New Heaven and Earth
Reading assignment: __Revelation 20:1 through Revelation 21:9
Focal verse(s): Revelation 20:11-12: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
In Revelation chapter 20 we see the scene of what will happen to Satan after he is defeated. He has been the keeper of hell for several thousand years, having stolen the key of hell, but after suffering defeat at Armageddon, the devil has lost that key. A police angel descends from heaven with a great chain in one hand and the key to hell in the other. He arrests the devil just like a common criminal and binds him from head to foot with the chain, then takes the key and unlocks the gate of hell and casts the devil into that fire-filled dungeon. He puts God’s seal on the door and hangs a sign over it reading, “No escape for the next 1000 years.” * Satan has been on heaven’s “wanted list” ever since being cast out of heaven with his demons and now justice is served. This place where Satan is imprisoned is not the final hell, but a temporary holding cell like the great pit where the worst of the demons were kept until the Tribulation Period. He will be cast into the final hell, lake of fire, or Gehenna after the Millennium ends and will be joined by the Antichrist, False Prophet, and all humans who have not accepted Christ as their Lord. There is now a listing of the saints who will reign with Christ: First, all the saved people on earth from Abel until the time of the Rapture; The 2nd group consists of all those who were martyred for Christ in the 1st half of the Tribulation Period; The last group of saints reigning with Christ will be those who refused to worship the beast or Antichrist and are martyrs for Christ during the last half of the Tribulation Period. These last two groups of martyrs are resurrected after the marriage of the Lamb and at the beginning of the Millennium. The 3 distinct groups of saints are the Old Testament saints or guests, the Bride or Church, and the martyrs. After Satan’s 1000 year imprisonment, he is released in order to test men’s loyalty to Christ during the ideal conditions of the Millennium. Satan has success in deceiving “the nations” in a last world-wide rebellion against God and His holy city Jerusalem…Israel, however, will be loyal to the Messiah and all the rebels will be crushed. Satan is given his final sentence and cast into the lake of fire along with the Antichrist and false prophet who are already there (the demons and the unsaved who will be cast there after the final judgment). The Millennium now ends, eternity begins and a “great white throne” is seen where the final judgment takes place. The color white pictures God’s perfect purity and righteousness. God has already judged the living and at this point will judge the dead of all ages. Sinners throughout history stand before God, each facing Him alone. The Book of life is opened and their names are not found on the scroll of the saved. I believe that God will show each of these sinners a giant video of every sin they ever committed and the only verdict left will be, “Guilty!” They will then be cast into the lake of fire along with the devil, demons, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. This terrible scene is called the “2nd death”. People receive the “first death” when they die without accepting Christ, but this will be the final death and the result will be a sentence to hell. We see the new heaven and new earth of eternity: The old heaven and earth are completely remodeled by God’s fire, including the doing away with oceans, which will not be necessary under God’s rule. Since all sin is eliminated, God can now live with man. In this perfect sinless universe of the new heaven and new earth there will be only one area where sin exists and that will be the prison of hell.
* W. B. Godbey, “Commentary on the New Testament, Vol. 1, Revelation” (Cincinnati, Ohio: M. W. Knapp, Revivalist Office, 1896), p. 249