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MORE ON THE MILLENNIUM REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST (A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY)

WEBPAGE ADMINISTRATOR:  This (3 in 1) “Study” article contains vast information on the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on Earth in the “Not too distance future”. It will be a wondrous time for those living on Earth, and those living in the New Jerusalem (Just above the Earth). It is a prelude to Eternity with God, and a time too look forward to as Christians. Remember our Eternity with Jesus Christ starts here after the Rapture, and After the 7 year Tribulation. We still have much work to do.

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https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/millennium/
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
The recent re-posting of my article on Restoring Planet Earth has sparked some new interest in the Millennium. Many people find it hard to understand how such a seemingly perfect beginning could deteriorate into a massive rebellion at the end. The simple answer is “natural man” but let’s take a more comprehensive look.
First, a little background. The Bible mentions a total of seven different approaches God has made in an effort to maintain a relationship with the human race. Six of these are history and one is yet future to us.
In the early 1800’s John Nelson Darby, borrowing a term from Ephesians 3:2, named these seven approaches “dispensations” and explained how so far each one has ended in failure. Here’s a summary of each in the order of their occurrence.
THE DISPENSATIONS
1) Innocence … Between the Creation and the Fall of Man in the Garden (Genesis 3) God interacted freely and personally with Adam and Eve. Then they broke the only rule He had given them (Genesis 3:11-13) and were expelled from the Garden. Sin entered the world.
2) Conscience … Between the Fall and the Flood, God allowed man’s conscience to govern his behaviour without Divine interference. Because of the sin nature passed down from mankind’s first parents, the result was that
“the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
God pronounced judgment upon the world and destroyed all but 8 members of the human race in the Great Flood.
3) Human Government … from the Flood to Abraham. After the flood God told Noah to go forth and replenish the Earth (Genesis 9:7). Noah’s descendants disobeyed God’s commandment, setting about instead to build a great city and tower from which to study the stars (Genesis 11:4). God confused man’s language, causing them to stop building the tower, and scattered them through out the world (Genesis 11:8-9).
4) Promise … from Abraham to Moses. God promised Abraham a son for himself and Sarah (Genesis 15:4) and a homeland for his descendants (Genesis 15:18-19).  But they grew tired of waiting and produced a son on their own, who they named Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-2,15). When God’s promised son Isaac was born, Ishmael was sent away (Genesis 21:8-13) causing enmity between the Jews (descendants of Isaac) and Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) that continues to this day. After Mohammed, a descendant of Ishmael’s, founded Islam this enmity took on religious significance and became even more intense.
5) Law … from Moses to Jesus. God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and promised the Jews a life of peace and plenty in a Kingdom of their own if they obeyed Him (Exodus 19:5, Exodus 20:1-17). After repeated periods of disobedience which included rejecting their Messiah King, God withdrew His offer of the Kingdom and expelled them from their land (Matt. 21:43, Luke 19:41-44).
6) Grace … from Pentecost to the Rapture, the Church Age. No longer requiring righteousness through works, God granted a righteousness through faith in the completed work of Christ to all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 3:21-24). Most will not believe and will be punished through eternity.
Note: It’s important to realize that Grace is unlike any of the other dispensations in that didn’t replace Law, it just interrupted it.  Law has another 7 years to run, called Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), which will take place between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. During this time all the nations to which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed and Israel will be disciplined in preparation for receiving the Kingdom God has promised to give them (Jeremiah 30:4-11).
As you can see these six approaches either already have or are about to end in failure. Now for the seventh and our answer to the questions that prompted this study.
7) The Kingdom … the 1000 Year Reign of Christ also known as the Millennium. It begins with the 2nd Coming. This time Israel will accept the Kingdom offer (Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 14:8-9). Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2), all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet (Matt. 25:41-46), and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people (Ezek. 43:6-7). You’d think with all these advantages mankind would finally be able to live in a manner pleasing to God. But it won’t happen. Eventually, with the exception of Israel, the world will rebel against God and His people in one last attempt to regain control of the planet. God will send fire from heaven to consume them all (Rev. 20:7-10).
WHAT WAS THE QUESTION?
Remember, the question was how such a seemingly perfect beginning could deteriorate into a massive rebellion at the end.
In a near perfect environment, with Satan bound, Jesus ruling in person and only believers left in the world it seems to us like the perfect opportunity for mankind to prove that given the right circumstances it is possible to live in peace and harmony with God. How could something that seems so right go so horribly wrong?
In Jeremiah 17:9 we’re told that our hearts are deceitful above all things and are beyond cure. This is why the Bible never mentions changing our heart. Instead it speaks of giving us a new one. Our natural heart has a built in failure mechanism that has eventually torpedoed every relationship God has proposed to have with us. It’s called sin and the summaries above demonstrate its deadly effect.
At the sheep and goat judgment, which follows the 2nd Coming, the Lord will separate surviving believers from surviving unbelievers. Believers will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) while unbelievers will be sent into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41) never to be seen on Earth again.
Jewish believers will live in Israel, while Gentile believers will populate the nations. The Earth, having been restored to its pre-flood grandeur, will be a remarkable place to live, and will cooperate with its inhabitants to produce a life of peace and plenty never before seen. I can imagine that the people, having just survived 7 years of the worst times humans have ever endured, will feel blessed beyond any measure.
It took 1656 years for pre-flood man to bring God’s perfect creation to a point where His only option was to destroy them all. This was probably due to the long life spans they enjoyed, where there were multiple generations of elders among them who retained the memories of Earth’s earliest days.
By contrast Judges 2:10-15 tells us that after the generation of Israelites who endured the time in the wilderness and conquered the Promised Land had died, the next generation neither knew the Lord nor what He had done for Israel. Before long they had descended into idolatry and brought judgment upon themselves.  Life-spans had already become remarkably shorter and the memory of the Lord was lost as there were no longer the multiple overlapping generations of the past. This time it only took one generation to begin their downward spiral.
In the Millennium, life-spans will become longer again but eventually children will be born who will not have experienced the Great Tribulation and history will begin to repeat itself.
The Bible only hints of this so we don’t know how long it will take, but it seems likely that among each generation there will be substantially fewer believers than in previous ones.
DIVERGING PATHS
It appears that this will only happen among the Gentile nations because there’s no mention of such a falling away in Israel. Therefore, when examining the millennium we have to look at Israel and the Gentile nations separately.
Isaiah 40:1-2 tells us that as of the 2nd Coming the Lord will speak comfort to Israel, and tenderness to Jerusalem, saying that her hard service is over and that her sin has been paid for, having received double from the Lord’s hand for all her sins. In Ezekiel 36:26-27 we read of God’s promise to give His people a new heart and put His Spirit in them to move them to follow His decrees and keep His laws.
They won’t be changed from mortal to immortal yet, so they will still sin. But the Temple rituals they will be required to practice, complete with daily sacrifices for their sin (Ezekiel 40-46), will serve as a constant reminder of the Lord’s death on their behalf. Also, He will extend peace to them that will flow like a river and the wealth of the nations will pour in like a flooding stream (Isaiah 66:12). The combination of these things will enable them to remain faithful to the Lord throughout.
We’ve had more to say about Israel’s Millennial Kingdom in previous studies, so for the balance of this one we’ll focus on the Gentiles because that’s where the long awaited time of peace and plenty will eventually deteriorate into a world wide rebellion and judgement.
The Lord will be a strict administrator of God’s law during the millennium, brooking no disobedience. Psalm 2:9 tells us He will rule with an iron scepter, which means He will be inflexible in His dealings with man. No more of the Sunday School Jesus patting little children on the head and telling everyone to turn the other cheek.  In Psalm 2:10-11 the kings of the earth are warned to serve Him with fear and trembling because His wrath can flare up in a moment.
As it has been through out human history, children born in the millennium will have to mature and decide whether to accept or reject the Lord’s death on their behalf.  As successive generations of children are born in the gentile nations, the sin nature they will have inherited will make it increasingly difficult for them to accept the Lord and His kind of rule, especially as memories of the Great Tribulation judgments fade. In each generation the number of those who reject the Lord will grow and their obedience to His rule will only be given reluctantly and with growing resentment.
GIVE US AN EXAMPLE
One example the Bible gives of this resistance concerns Egypt. In Isaiah 19:19-25 the prophet described a time when Egypt will come to know the Lord and worship Him with sacrifices and grain offerings. Then something will happen that causes the Lord to strike them with a plague, subsequently healing them after they turn back to Him. The chapter ends with the Lord calling Egypt “my people”. This prophecy has never been fulfilled.
In Zechariah 14:16-19 we learn that all the Gentile nations will have to be represented each year when Israel celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles. Failure to attend will bring consequences. In describing those consequences Zechariah described a plague of drought. He specifically mentioned that Egypt would suffer this plague but hinted that other nations would be afflicted for failing to attend as well. This prophecy is Millennial in its scope.
In Ezekiel 29:13-16 there’s a prophecy of a 40 year period when Egypt will be completely desolate, with its people dispersed among the other nations of the world. At the end of 40 years the Lord will bring them back. This is another prophecy that awaits future fulfilment.
I believe these three prophecies speak of the same thing; a 40 year judgement against Egypt for refusing to attend the annual Feast of Tabernacles. If so, it’s an indication of how intolerant the Lord will be of any violation of the rules and how severe the punishment for such will be. No wonder the growing number of unbelievers will start forming thoughts of rebellion.
We shouldn’t marvel that natural humans could be so wicked as to bring about the destruction of the very utopian existence mankind has dreamed about from time immemorial. Even a casual reading of the Old Testament shows us that on a smaller scale this very thing happened repeatedly in Israel’s history, even with God Himself living in their midst.
Also, a study of human nature will lead us to the conclusion that eventually the incredible blessings of millennial life will be taken for granted as more and more people are born who haven’t known anything different. Soon these blessings will be overshadowed by the inflexible requirements of the Lord’s rule.
As the end of the Millennium approaches the number of rebellious unbelievers will be as great as the sand on the seashore. When Satan is released they will be primed and ready for a leader behind whom they can unite. From all over the world they will march against the camp of God’s people, the city He loves, and in response He will send fire from heaven to devour them all. And then the devil who deceived them will be thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night, forever (Rev. 20:7-10).
WHAT’S THE MEANING OF THIS?
At first glance, having a 1000 year interlude between the Age of Man and Eternity doesn’t make sense. But on reflection, I think that it may be natural man’s last, best, chance to prove himself to God.
Through out history we’ve had the evil workings of the devil to contend against, but all during the Millennium the devil will be imprisoned. Without him to tempt them can man behave in a manner pleasing to God?
We’ve also had the bad influence of unbelievers, but at the beginning of the Millennium all unbelievers will be taken away. Will that make it possible for man to please God?
For the last 2000 years the Lord has been absent from the planet. When He returns to become their King will His presence among them enable man to please Him?
Sadly, the answer to all these questions is a resounding no. Even with Satan bound, no more unbelievers, and the in person rule of the Lord Himself, there’s still enough sin in the hearts of natural man that as soon as Satan is freed, man will join him in a final rebellion against God. The Millennium is the seventh and final test, proving that there is no circumstance or condition in which natural man can behave in a manner acceptable to a Holy God.
If you haven’t done so lately, give thanks to God that you came into the world during the Age of Grace, where the righteousness of God has been imputed to you by faith (Romans 3:21-24) making you forever perfect in His sight (Hebrews 10:12-14).  Your inheritance of eternal life has been guaranteed (Ephes. 1:13-14) as the example in ages yet to come of the incomparable riches of God’s Grace expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7), with no other requirement than to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:28-29). Such a thing has never happened before and will never happen again. 07-05-14
 

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LIFE ON EARTH IN THE MILLENNIUM

https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/life-on-earth-in-the-millennium/
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Hal Lindsey once speculated that at his judgment Satan hurled two accusations at God. “You’re not just and You have no love.” In past studies we have seen how God demonstrated His perfect justice through Israel and His perfect love through the Church.  In this study, we’ll talk about a time in the future when both perfect justice and perfect love will govern the lives of people on Earth.
Israel lived under an absolutely just system of law. It was clear and concise, made no exceptions, and showed no favoritism. There was blessing for obedience and punishment for disobedience in an obvious cause and effect relationship. What they did determined what they got. God said to them,
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)
The Church has showcased the incomparable riches of God’s grace. We’re the most blessed of any group of humanity and the only thing asked of us is that we accept by faith the free gift of salvation, purchased in advance for us with God’s own life. Yes, God is pleased if we live our lives in a manner that expresses our gratitude to Him, and rewards us for doing so, but the only thing He requires is that we believe in the one He has sent.
Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the work God requires?” He answered, “The work of God is this, to believe in the one He has sent” (John 6:28-29).
In the Kingdom Age believers will be saved by faith, like the Church, but will be required to keep the Law as evidence of their belief, like Israel. I say this because it’s pretty clear that salvation by grace through faith alone will end with the rapture of the Church.  Otherwise there would be no need for a temple in Israel during the Millennium, with all nations being required to make an annual pilgrimage to Israel to observe the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16-19).  Also, Isaiah 2:2-3 says all nations will stream to the Lord’s Temple.  The Lord will teach them His ways and they will walk in His paths, and the Law (Torah) will go out from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Therefore, perfect justice and perfect love will be combined. This will be God’s final answer to Satan and His final attempt to dwell among His people in peace. Will it work, or like Israel and the Church before it, will the Kingdom Age end in failure?
We’ve only talked about Law and Grace but there were actually four other attempts at peaceful coexistence between God and man leading up to them. For a complete understanding of man’s history with his Creator, we’ll need to review these others as well. They’re called dispensations, or administrations, and all together there are seven of them.
THE 7 DISPENSATIONS
Throughout history God has dealt with His people in different ways as part of the process of revealing His character. Each of these dispensations has begun with an agreement between God and man that man subsequently violated, ending the relationship in failure and requiring a judgment from God.
1) INNOCENCE … Between the Creation and the Fall of Man God interacted freely and personally with man. Man was created immortal and while he had agency (the power of choice) he didn’t have a sin nature. God placed Adam and Eve in His garden and gave them only one restriction. They were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But they violated this restriction and were expelled from the Garden. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent were all judged, the Creation was cursed, and sin entered the world.
2) CONSCIENCE … Between the Fall of Man and the Great Flood God allowed man’s conscience to rule without Divine interference. Because of man’s newly acquired sin nature, the result of this was
“the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
After repeated warnings, God destroyed all but 8 members of the Human race in the Great Flood.
3) HUMAN GOVERNMENT … from Noah to the Tower of Babel. After the Flood, God allowed man to establish his first system of government. But the people disobeyed God’s commandment to go forth and replenish the Earth, setting about instead to build a great city and a tower to protect themselves from another flood. They also used the tower to study astrology, a corruption of the Gospel that God had written in the stars using the names of 12 constellations. So God gave each of the 70 families of man a unique language that other families weren’t able to understand. This caused confusion and distrust among the people and they drifted apart to be scattered through out the world, and God destroyed the tower.
4) PROMISE … God set Abraham’s descendants apart as His Chosen People and promised Abraham and Sarah a son through whom He said He would bless the world. But they grew tired of waiting for Him to keep His promise, and produced a son on their own, calling him Ishmael. Later, when God gave them Isaac, the son He had promised, Ishmael was sent away causing bad blood between Ishmael (Arabs) and Isaac (Jews) that continues to this day.
5) LAW … from Mt. Sinai to Pentecost. After God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave Moses the 10 Commandments and offered the Israelites the land He had promised to Abraham along with a life of peace and plenty if they obeyed His Law. After 2000 years of vacillating between obedience and rebellion that resulted in them rejecting the Messiah, God finally had enough, expelled them from their land, and dispersed them throughout the world. (But not forever.  The Dispensation of Law was interrupted seven years short of its allotted time. After the Rapture, during the final 7 years, also known as Daniel’s 70th Week, Israel will have one final chance to live in obedience to God and accept their Messiah.)
6) GRACE … The Church Age. No longer requiring that righteousness be earned through obedience to the Law, God imputed His own righteousness to man by grace through faith in the completed work of the Lord Jesus, promising eternal blessing and a place in His own house to all who accept. It was the most outrageously lavish gift ever bestowed, free for the asking. But by the end of the Age of Grace most of humanity will have rejected His gift, choosing instead to live on their own terms, betting that either God doesn’t exist, or if He does He’ll allow them into His kingdom anyway. After removing the relative few who have accepted His gift so they’ll be safe with Him, He’ll punish the rest through the most severe time of judgment ever visited on Earth.
7) KINGDOM … the 1000 Year Reign of the Lord, also known as the Millennium. At its outset Satan will be bound, all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet, the curse will be removed, and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people. You’d think that finally man could live in a manner pleasing to Him. Whether he will or not is the subject of our study.
WHO ARE YOU CALLING A FAILURE?
Some in the Church might question the view that the Age of Grace has been a failure, but that’s because we’re among the few who have accepted the Lord’s free gift of pardon and will therefore enjoy its benefits. Remember, God’s desire is to reconcile us to Himself (Colossians 1:19-20). He doesn’t want for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). And yet over the last 2,000 years most people have turned down His gift and gone their own way. After doing everything He could, short of violating man’s free will and forcing him to accept the pardon He offered, most of mankind will have rejected Him. Can you blame Him for being so angry as to unleash the full fury of His wrath against them?
Even in the Church, the response to God’s gift of eternal Life has been more apathy than adoration. When less than 10% of people who claim to be born again have adopted a Biblical world view, it’s clear that there’s been a serious disconnect between His gift and our gratitude. When compared to God’s desire the Age of Grace has been a failure.
This is no more of a surprise to God than the outcome of His previous attempts. He doesn’t do things so He can see how we’ll respond. He already knows that. He does things so we can see how we’ll respond. Paul said every thing that was written in the past was written to teach us. (Romans 15:4)  So far the lesson has been that no matter what God has done to draw us near, man is untrustworthy and rebellious, pushing God away and bringing judgment upon himself as a result.
NOW FOR THE KINGDOM
Before we go on, let’s remind ourselves that the Church will be in the New Jerusalem during the Millennium and not on Earth.  The people on earth will be Israel and surviving Gentiles from the Great tribulation, all believers, who will populate the nations.  Still being in their natural state, they’ll soon be  joined by the children they will bear.
OK, so what about the Kingdom Age, will it be a failure too? A study of the Kingdom Age shows that at the beginning, life will be as close to heaven on earth as one could imagine.  There will be peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, just like the angel promised to the shepherds on the night of the Lord’s birth (Luke 2:14).  The creation, freed from the bondage of the curse, will be responding eagerly to mankind’s husbandry, with harvests so plentiful that it will be time for planting a new crop before they can finish bringing the old crop in (Amos 9:13).  Perfect weather and overflowing bounty will make work a joy instead of a burdensome toil. Long life spans will return as sickness and disease again become rare occurrences (Isaiah 65:20).
“Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there” (Zech. 8:4-5).
This will be true throughout the world because the Lord will settle all disputes between the nations.  They will not take up arms against each other, nor will they even  train for war anymore (Isaiah 2:4). 
Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree and no one will make them afraid (Micah 4:4).
The Bible only mentions one Temple in the Millennium.  It will be in Israel and daily sacrifices will again be the norm, administered by the Levitical priesthood.  The Millennial Temple will be quite different from the historical Temples.  There will be no incense altar, no menorah, no ark of the covenant, and no wash basin.  The veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies will be replaced by a wooden screen, and the entire interior will be covered in wood rather than gold, as in former temples.  
Of the Levitical feasts, they will celebrate only Passover (no lamb), Unleavened Bread, and Tabernacles, with world wide representation only required for Tabernacles (Ezekiel 40-46).  Although the Bible doesn’t say this, I imagine the rest of the world will utilize some form of the synagogue system of worship, first developed by Ezekiel during the Babylonian captivity and still in use today.
We’re only given glimpses of the beginning and end of the Kingdom Age, but because of the shocking difference in the two, we can surmise that after a period of time things start going downhill fast. The Lord’s administration will be just but inflexible. He’ll rule them with a rod of iron and His punishment for disobedience will be harsh and swift. For example, nations who refuse to participate in the annual Feast of Tabernacles will not receive any rainfall (Zech. 14:16-19).
But natural man has a sin nature and will eventually rebel against the Lord’s rule.  Psalm 2 tells the story.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
“Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 2:1-6)
Once again created beings will presume to free themselves from the rule of their Creator. But the King ruling the Earth was put there by God Himself, and that makes Him the King of their kings. Then He’ll remind them of their position in the hierarchy.
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD : He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
(Psalm 2:7-12)
In an event that was later modeled in the Biblical adoption ceremony (Galatians 4:4-7), the Father formally named His Son heir of His estate and bequeathed His inheritance to Him. All the nations are His, and He has the authority to rule them as He pleases. Man’s choice will be to obey or suffer the consequences. Obedience will be rewarded with blessing, but rebellion will bring destruction.
We’re neither told how many will be saved during the Millennium, nor what their destiny will be.  What we are told is at the end of the 1000 year Kingdom Age Satan will be freed and will have no trouble recruiting a large army from among the nations for one last attempt to regain his lost empire. He’ll find a ready audience for his deception and his army will soon be as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore.  From all over the world they’ll come to surround God’s people and His Holy City. But in one sudden burst of flame from Heaven they’ll be devoured and Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Rev. 20:7-10).  Once again, man rebels, God judges and another Age ends in failure.
Then the end will come, when he (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet (Psalm 8:6).
Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:24-28)
At that point, God’s response to Satan’s accusations will be complete, and His judgment will be final. Heaven and Earth will be purified. Eternity will begin, and God will reign supreme. Hallelujah!  02-28-15

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ANIMAL SACRIFICE IN THE MILLENNIUM

https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/animal-sacrifice-in-the-millennium-2/
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Every time I answer a question on animal sacrifices in the Millennium, I get more questions about them. If Jesus died once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, they ask, then are we sure that animal sacrifices will again be a part of the daily routine, as they were in the Old Testament? And if so, why? Let’s find out.
We’ll take the easy one first. The most prominent feature of Millennial Israel will be its Temple, so in our search for an answer, let’s begin there. The Temple will have an outer court and an inner court. Each has gates facing East, North and South. Inside each inner gate is a room for preparing animal sacrifices (Ezek. 40:38-39), which will clearly be the order of the day during the Kingdom Age. There will be sacrifices for the year, the month, the week, and the day, in addition to those for the three remaining Levitical Feasts, Passover (bulls and goats but no lamb), Unleavened Bread, and Tabernacles. These are all discussed in detail in Ezekiel 45:13 – 46:15.
So now we know that animals will be sacrificed regularly through out the Millennium. They’ll be called sin offerings, guilt offerings and burnt offerings, just like in Leviticus. What Ezekiel didn’t discuss is why they’ll still be necessary. For that we have to look other places.
IT’S THE LAW
First, a little review. The Old Testament sacrifices, though required, were only of benefit to those who understood their symbolic purpose. In Psalm 51:16-17 David wrote,
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Unless they were presented with the proper attitude, animal sacrifices were not pleasing to God. Men who offered sacrifices had to admit their fallen nature and believe that the animals they were offering symbolized a coming Redeemer who would one day restore them.
But over time the motive was forgotten and just the motions remained. In Isaiah 29:13 God said,
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
And in Isaiah 66:2-3 He explained just how repulsive the sacrifices are without contrition and faith, the only proper motives.
“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol.”
From these examples, it’s clear that Old Testament believers were required to offer sacrifices both as an admission of their sinfulness and of their belief that a Redeemer was coming to save them. While the Law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:7) natural man cannot keep it.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by keeping the Law. Rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:20)
The Law was given to teach us that we can’t meet its requirements and need a Savior to redeem us from its penalty. We can’t do it ourselves.
THEN COMES GRACE
The Age of Grace began at Pentecost and will end at the Rapture. This makes sense when you consider that in Ephesians 2:7 Paul said that through the Church God wants to demonstrate the incomparable riches of His grace in the ages yet to come. To accomplish this, He made our relationship with Him different than anyone else’s before or after. In Ephesians 3:8-10 Paul said that he was chosen by God to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to the Gentiles. This was a mystery in the past, but God’s intent was that now, through the church, His manifold wisdom would be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm. That means angels, both faithful and fallen, learn something of God’s wisdom by studying the Church.
So both the angels in Heaven and future generations of men on Earth will see in the Church the perfection of God’s love. In Ephes. 2:10 Paul called the Church God’s workmanship. The Greek word means to make something from something else. It’s used only twice in the New Testament and both times it describes the work of God as our Creator.
In our case, He took something worthless and made it into something priceless. He forgave all of our sins in advance, (Col. 2:13-15) making His pardon free for the asking (Matt. 7:7-8). When we ask, He begins from that moment on to see us as if we’re as righteous as He is, (2 Cor. 5:17,21) and guarantees our inheritance. (Ephes. 1:13-14)  At the Rapture He’ll transform us to become in fact that which we already are is His sight. (1 Cor. 15:51-53) Then He’ll reward us with a portion of His inheritance (Gal. 4:7), and a seat with His Son in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come (Ephes. 1:20-21 & 2:6).
In the coming age, men on Earth will look up into the sky and see the New Jerusalem, home of the Church, in orbit nearby. It will be their source of light and though they’ll never be able to visit it, descriptions of its beauty and majesty will stagger their imaginations. All of creation will stand in awe of this display of the incomparable riches of God’s grace.
This is why the Church is God’s workmanship, not ours, and why the Bible is so clear on the fact that we can do nothing to earn or keep our salvation. In order to be the ultimate example of His grace, our salvation has to be 100% dependent on Him. Anything we do in an effort to help ourselves diminishes His workmanship. No other group in the history of man has deserved so little and been given so much, and that’s just the way He intended it.
SAVED BY FAITH, OBEDIENT TO THE LAW
But that all comes to a crashing halt at the Rapture, because the Church Age didn’t end the Age of Law.  It just interrupted it.   Even during Daniel’s 70th Week (the last 7 years of the Age of Law) it’s clear that life on Earth will be a lot more like it was in the Old Testament than it is in the New. For example, the Jews only need to build a Temple in order to conduct animal sacrifice. Their worship system requires it. Remember, in the middle of the 70th week the Abomination of Desolation will cause an end to the sacrifice and offering (Daniel 9:27). That means sacrifices will have begun again with the construction of the Temple, because they aren’t being done now.
In an earlier study, The Nature Of Post Church Salvation, I made the case that post Church believers, whether Jew or Gentile, will not enjoy the seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance. Eternal Security is a blessing for the Church alone and ends with the end of the Age of Grace at the Rapture. Two passages from Revelation illustrate this.
  1. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. (Rev. 14:12)
Speaking of the perilous times after the introduction of the Mark of the Beast, the Lord had John say that both obedience and faith will be required of Tribulation believers, whereas the Church is saved by grace through faith alone.
  1. “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev. 16:15)
When used symbolically, clothing always stands for righteousness. Note that it’s the Tribulation believer’s responsibility to maintain his righteousness. It’s not imputed to him solely by faith as ours is.
Immediately after the 2nd Coming, the Temple will be cleansed and on Earth animal sacrifice will begin again. The fact that there were animal sacrifices before the Church and there will be animal sacrifices after the Church shows that they were not eliminated forever when Jesus came, but only suspended during the Age of Grace. (In the New Jerusalem, home of the Church, there is no Temple (Rev. 21:22). Having been the Lord’s Temple for the last 2000 years, we’ll see that in the Millennium He’s become ours.)
LIFE IN THE MILLENNIUM
In the Millennium, the people of Earth will once again offer sacrifices in admission of their fallen state, just like in the Old Testament, but now it will also be evidence of their belief that the Redeemer has come. According to Psalm 2 their relationship with the Lord will also be like it was for Israel in the Old Testament.
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD : He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. (Psalm 2:7-12)
So much for gentle Jesus meek and mild. And remember, in our recent study of Isaiah we saw that it won’t be just Israel that comes under the rule of the Lord, but the whole Earth.
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations (Gentiles) will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2)
The word mountain is symbolic of government. All of Earth will be a theocracy with the Lord as King.
Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
The Hebrew word translated Law in verse 3 is Torah. So the Law being spoken of here is the Law of Moses, and all the world will have to comply.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)
This verse is often quoted in the context of peace. But it also means that there won’t be any United Nations or World Court. Nor will any nation have the sovereign right to contend with another. The Word of the Lord will be the Law on Earth and there won’t be any recourse. This will be the Lord’s “New World Order” and He won’t brook any alternatives.
Zechariah also gives us a glimpse of His Millennial rule.
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16-19)
BUT WHY?
Seeing the emphasis given to the Law both before and after the Church only serves to underscore the the Lord’s declaration that He didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. (Matt. 5:17) So, animal sacrifices have been suspended during the Church Age to demonstrate the extent of God’s grace. But our study of the Millennium shows that they weren’t eliminated forever. Here’s why.
When the Church studies Israel we see that man came to believe He didn’t need a Savior. He thought that keeping the Law and offering the sacrifices were sufficient payment for his sin, even though the Old Testament doesn’t teach that. When Millennial believers study the Church they’ll see that being freed from the Law and its sacrifices slowly took away our distaste for sin, allowing us to become far too comfortable in its presence, even though the New Testament doesn’t teach that either.
It seems like natural man needs both. Maybe, like Israel, he needs a strict application of God’s Law and the bloody, barbaric ritual that comes from his failure to keep it so he never forgets the awful consequences of sin. And maybe, like the Church, he needs to know for sure that God sent a Savior to do for him what he cannot do for himself. And that’s to save him from those consequences.
In Israel God demonstrated the perfection of His Law. In the Church He showed us the incomparable riches of His Grace. In the Millennium, the people of Earth will experience both simultaneously. You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 05-23-09

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REVELATION 21-22

https://gracethrufaith.com/the-book-of-revelation/revelation-21-22/
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Having carried his description of Satan’s destiny and the resurrection of unbelievers to their conclusions in chapter 20, John now returns to the beginning of the Millennium to describe the new home of the Church in chapter 21 and the new Earth in chapter 22. We know this because the phrase “new heaven and new earth” also appears in Isaiah 65:17 at the beginning of a passage describing Israel during the Millennium.
Let’s take a minute to confirm the timing of  Rev. 21. People who think the  New Jerusalem doesn’t appear until the end of the Millennium don’t realize that Rev. 20:7-15 is a parenthetical insert John used to carry his discussion on the destinies of Satan and the unsaved to its ultimate conclusion.  This is something John did several times in the Revelation narrative to help complete a thought.  (For example in Rev. 12:3-6 he took four verses to summarize Satan’s interference in God’s plan over a period stretching from his pre-Adamic rebellion to the 2nd Coming.)  In Rev. 21 John returned to the beginning of the Millennium to describe the New Jerusalem.
There are several clues in the text that support this interpretation.  First, Rev. 20:7 begins, “when the thousand years are over” indicating that John has skipped to the end of the  Millennium.  Second, Rev. 21:1 is a direct quote from Isaiah 65:17 where the context is clearly Israel’s Kingdom Age, aka the Millennium, and third the first 5 verses of Rev.22 are a summary of Ezekiel 47:1-12, which is also about the Kingdom Age in Israel.  If you think about it for a minute you’ll see there’s neither need nor purpose for a river of life in the New Jerusalem, it being the exclusive home of the redeemed Church.  There will be no more sickness or death there, so we won’t need healing, and there won’t be anyone from the nations there either (Rev. 21:27).  That plus the similarity of wording confirms that in Rev. 22:1-2 John was describing the River of Life on Earth, just like Ezekiel had done.
And then there’s the mention of the trees growing a different fruit each month in Rev. 22:2. This reference to time confirms that John was not talking about eternity, which by definition is the absence of time.
Also, the word translated new in John’s quote of Isaiah 65:17 can also mean refreshed or renewed.  It refers to the time Jesus called the renewal of all things in Matt. 19:28 and Peter mentioned in Acts 3:21. This will take place at the time of the 2nd Coming.
At the rapture of the Church the Lord will take us to His Father’s house to be with Him where He is (John 14:2-3).  1 Thes 4:17 says once we go there, we’ll always be there.  This is the New Jerusalem.  As we’ll see Rev. 21:2 shows the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven and goes on to describe an entity far too big to be located on Earth. It must only come to Earth’s proximity.
In Matt. 24:29 Jesus said the Sun and Moon would no longer shine after the end of the Great Tribulation.  Rev. 21:22-27 will describe the nations walking by the light of the New Jerusalem.  After the 2nd Coming the New Jerusalem will replace the Sun as Earth’s source of light.
Rev. 21:22-27 also shows the Kings of Earth bringing their splendor to the New Jerusalem, but says nothing impure can ever enter it, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is a description of the Church.
Taken together these verses show there are still three groups of humans during the Millennium. Israel in the promised land,  the nations of Earth still in their natural state, and the perfected Church, living nearby but protected from impurity,  Once eternity begins there won’t be any impurities left in God’s Creation (1 Cor. 15:24-25).  OK. Let’s begin our study of Rev. 21
                                         

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REVELATION 21THE NEW JERUSALEM

 
WEBPAGE ADMINISTRATOR This is a continuation of the Millennium study, It is “relevant” because it describes specifically God’s plan and positioning of people and structure during this 1,000 year period. It also describes the “Chaos of our Planet Earth after the 7 year Tribulation Judgment Period i.e. No more Sun, which is replaced by the New Jerusalem which will be the light of the World.

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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
(Rev. 21:1)
As I said, Jesus called this “the renewal of all things” in Matt. 19:28.  According to Romans 8:19-22 the creation itself has been writhing and groaning, waiting for the Sons of God to be revealed so it could finally be liberated from its bondage to decay. The judgments of the Great Tribulation served in part to prepare the Earth for its restoration. In all probability, its orbit and axis will have been returned to their original configurations, bringing again the world wide sub-tropical environment likely enjoyed by our first parents. The vast oceans, silent witnesses to the enormity of Noah’s flood will be hoisted back into the outer atmosphere, restoring the water vapor canopy that protected early man and allowing the return of long life spans they experienced (Isaiah 65:20).  The sea floors will be elevated and the mountains lowered, and Earth will once again resemble the Garden Planet it was when Adam came on the scene. Its atmosphere will no longer be the haunt of demons, and the heavens will have been purified of Satan’s rebellious minions forever (Rev. 12:7-8).
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:2-5)
Notice that while John watched the New Jerusalem descending from Heaven, he didn’t report it as landing anywhere. Though it’s close enough to Earth for him to describe it accurately, it’s not on the Earth.
And don’t be fooled into believing that the phrase “prepared as a bride” means that the New Jerusalem is the Bride. No, the word “as” tells us that John’s comparing the New Jerusalem to a bride on her wedding day. Just as no expense is spared in making a bride look as beautiful as possible for her wedding, so none of God’s creativity has been spared in making the home of the redeemed His ultimate expression of beauty.
Finally, because of that one death on a hill outside of Jerusalem, God and man have been reconciled (Col. 1:19-20) and His heart’s longing to dwell with His creation has been fulfilled. For in the Church, He’s done nothing less than create a new race of human, as righteous as He is, fit to dwell in His Presence.
And so the Creator of the Universe has made everything new, a New Heaven, a New Earth, and a New Race of Human. The damage caused in the Garden by the Serpent has been repaired.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Rev. 21:6-8)
In his first letter to the Church John had asked the rhetorical question, “Who is it that overcomes the world?”  His answer was, “Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:5) Once again God makes the alternatives clear. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37) Come to the One who gives the Living Water and drink from Him without cost, or remain in your sins and die forever.
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Rev. 21:9-14)
When Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord and killed himself, the 12 were disciples, or students. Later the remaining 11, now Apostles (sent ones), voted and chose Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:21-26). Nothing more was written about him, and we don’t know why. Obviously, God’s choice was Paul, by far the most prolific of New Testament authors.  I think it’ll be his name we see on the foundation.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.
(Rev. 21:15-21)
12,000 stadia are equal to about 1380 miles, meaning that if this city came to rest in Europe, it would cover everything from Scandinavia to Gibraltar and from the Coast of Spain to Italy’s heel. Alternatively, it would hide the entire Middle East, or all of the Eastern US from Maine to Florida and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. And at 1380 miles tall it would be about 4000 times as tall as the next tallest building on Earth. A globe with a 1380 mile diameter would be about 1/6th the size of Earth or about 2/3rds the size of the moon.  More likely, it’s a small planet or low orbit satellite.  Some see it as a cube and others as a pyramid, and we may live on it or in it or both. What we know is that it’s laid out as a huge city with streets paved in the purest gold, so pure it’s nearly transparent, and according to John 14:2 it’s filled with many mansions.
While the names of these precious stones don’t move easily between languages, it’s likely that they’re the same as the stones on the High Priest’s breast plate.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev. 21:22-27)
Not only does the home of the Redeemed not need the sun, but in fact it’s the source of light for the nations of Earth. Their kings bring the best of Earth’s production into it for our use, although as natural humans they themselves cannot enter. Having been the Lord’s Temple for all the Age of the Church, we now discover that He’s become ours for Eternity.
Revelation 22
The River of Life
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” (Rev. 22:1-6)
As we saw at the beginning, this same river with its trees bearing a different fruit every month and leaves with healing power is described in Ezekiel 47:1&12 as flowing from under the south side of the Temple in the Holy City, now called Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is there) , in Israel (Ezekiel 48:35). This tells us that we’re back on Earth, admiring the crystal clear river flowing through the Holy City.
According to Zechariah 14:4-8 this river will suddenly begin flowing on the day of the Lord’s return. It will flow south toward the valley formed by a giant earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives from east to west. Once there it will fill the valley, flowing to the Mediterranean in the west and the Dead Sea in the east. Its healing waters freshen the Dead Sea and fish from the Mediterranean will now swim there in abundance. (Ezekiel 47:9-10)
Where the river splits to flow east and west, what remains of the city of Jerusalem will line its banks. But the old Temple Mount along with the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque will lie in ruins beneath the deep waters, never to be seen again. They were right in the path of the earthquake, and the river will swallow them up, ending centuries of contention over the place God once called the apple of His eye. (Zech 2:8) (We covered this in greater detail in our study of Revelation 11:15-12:17.)
These verses confirm that John is speaking of the Millennium on Earth, not of eternity.  And once again we’re told of servants who serve Him and reign with Him but are never called Priests or Kings, and they’re on the Earth not in the New Jerusalem.  They’re the resurrected Tribulation martyrs from Rev. 7:9-14 and Rev. 20:4.
JESUS IS COMING
“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” (Rev. 22:7-11)
Being an eyewitness to the culmination of human history is overwhelming to John and he falls at the feet of the angel guiding him in an act of worship. But unlike that other angel, the one who started all the trouble because of his craving for worship, this one rebukes John, admonishing him to worship the One Who is worthy.
John was called the disciple who Jesus loved and received the clearest description of the End of the Age. Earlier Daniel, called the beloved prophet, (Daniel 10:11) had also received detailed descriptions of the same period. When Daniel asked for clarification he was told the words were closed up and sealed until the time of the end (Daniel 12:9). Here John is told not to seal up what he’d been told because the time is near. All through the Church Age God’s prophecies of Earth’s final days would be available for everyone to read. Those who were so inclined could ignore them and continue to be disobedient and those who read and applied it could do right and be Holy, but the End would come just as John had seen it regardless of man’s response.
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Rev. 22:12-13)
This passage makes three sets of claims about The Lord. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, and the First and the Last. These aren’t just repetitive thoughts.
Variations on the phrase Alpha and Omega have autographed God’s greatest work from the beginning. The first letter of the Greek alphabet is Alpha and the last is Omega. It’s like saying, “From A to Z” in English. The Hebrew equivalents are Aleph and Tau. These two letters appear un-translated in a couple of interesting places in the Hebrew Scripture. One is in Genesis 1:1 right after the phrase “In the beginning God …” making the Hebrew version read, “In the beginning God, the Aleph and the Tau, created the Heavens and the Earth.” You have to get a Hebrew interlinear Bible to find it but it’s there.
The other place is in Zechariah 12:10 where the Hebrew reads,
“They will look upon me, the Aleph and the Tau, the one they have pierced …”
It’s a prophecy of Israel finally recognizing the true identity of the Messiah at the End of the Age. To the Greeks He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the Christ. To the Hebrews He’s the Aleph and the Tau, the Messiah.
The Greek word translated beginning is “arche” and denotes an order of time, place or rank. End comes from “telos”, which means the ultimate result or purpose; the upper limit. And so Jesus is the first in order of time, place and rank (Col 1:18), and represents the ultimate result or purpose of man; to be one with God (John 17:20-23).
The word translated first is “protos” and means the foremost or best. We get prototype from this word. And last comes from “eschatos” a superlative meaning farthest or uttermost. The term eschatology (the study of the end times) originates here. He is the prototype, against whom all will be compared (Rom 8:29), the uttermost or perfect example of the race, (Hebr 1:3) the only one ever born.
And so He was there before the beginning and will be there after the end. He represents man’s ultimate purpose and is our perfect example.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (Rev. 22:14-15)
Here is yet another clue that John is not describing our eternal state.  In eternity there will be no such people as those he is describing as being outside the city.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16).
The last of seven blessings in The Revelation. The other six are found in Rev. 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, and Rev. 22:7 One last time we’re reminded that while we may not be Jewish, the God we worship is. The phrase root and offspring of David recalls a Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 11:1-3.
Some modern versions incorrectly translate the Hebrew in Isaiah 14:12 giving Satan the title Morning Star. When first translated into Latin, the Hebrew word “heylel” became Lucifer, or light bearer, and that’s how the name originated. Heylel literally means shining one, but its intent describes someone who is boastful or proud, calling attention to ones self, as in “always in the spotlight”. The entire Hebrew phrase in Isaiah 14:12 is Heylel ben Shachar and means Shining One, Son of the Dawn. Our Lord Jesus is the one and only Bright Morning Star.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Rev. 22:17)
This is the Lord’s  final reminder that the price for our salvation has already been paid, and is available to everyone without condition. 
Everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened (Matt. 7:8).
How many times does He have to say that He didn’t create anyone to be without hope?
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Rev. 22:18-19)
In spite of this clear warning, there have been many attempts to allegorize or spiritualize this book into something it was never intended to be. It’s neither history, nor allegory, nor fantasy, but prophecy. And it will be fulfilled just as God has promised, all of our efforts at denial notwithstanding.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
(Rev. 22:20-21)

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