Revelation 19 to 20: Armageddon, the Millennium, the White Throne Judgement

We're rapidly winding down our study of the major end time prophecies of the Bible. Of course, there are many minor prophets in the Old Testament which also deal with these end times, and there are passages in several of the major prophetical works that deal with the end times. The study of the last two quarters has hit a lot of them.

In this study, we finish up with everything that goes on until Christ sets up His rule on Earth. It then speeds through the millennial period that is covered in much more detail by the prophets of the Old Testament, before closing up the judgments of God.

I will present Dake's summary of what goes on during this Millennial period, with scripture references so you can study it in more detail if you want for completeness.

Revelation 19

Praises to God

Revelation 19:1-6:

19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Here we see a reprise of the praises that are given to God as part of normal operations in heaven. Have you had a praise and worship service lately? Do you praise and worship the King as part of your normal service format? Most denominational churches don't include time for free worship of God in a corporate setting. They really should. It is true that we should give God praise and worship ourselves for He is worthy of all our praise. It is going to be a huge culture shock for a lot of new Christians in Heaven when they have to actually praise God and worship the King with audible words in the presence of other people. Let's try to get in the habit of doing this while we're here on Earth.

The people are praising God here for two primary reasons. First, they are praising Him for who He is. The second reason is for what He has done. In this case, the praise is for His judgment of the whore of Babylon that corrupted the earth with fornication and was instrumental in the death of Christians. Both types of worship and praise are good (for what He has done and for who He is). You can also praise God for what He has promised He will do, even before He has done it.

You shouldn't get in the habit of only praising God when things go right in your life. You should also praise God when things seem to go wrong. If nothing else, praise Him that they aren't worse. But praise for action should be less frequent than praise for who and what He is. Above all, Praise Ye The Lord!

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Revelation 19:7-10:

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

This is one of two specific references to a marriage supper of the Lamb. Further speculation about what it might entail is therefore pointless. There are other passages that some use from Matthew or Psalms to add substance to the supper, but I agree with Dake that these are weak or non-existent ties. The only thing that we know is that the wife (New Jerusalem) has been made ready. All Christians will go to have a place in that city. The marriage supper marks the final completion of the building work that began when Christ said:

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Here is one reference where the person showing John the vision is stated to be a redeemed saint rather than an angel. He declares himself to be a fellow servant and of John's brethren. Here, John is reminded to worship God only. We should not give reverence to anyone on this planet. We should honor as required by social custom, but reverence is reserved for God. Don't worship saints. Don't worship relics. Don't worship religious leaders. Don't laud people in general. Even the best are just sinners saved by grace - just like you. If you haven't accepted Christ as your Savior, this is an excellent time to do so!

Preparation for Battle

Revelation 19:11-16:

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

At the close of the festivities at the marriage supper, the clouds come out again in the prophecy. Here, we see Christ, setting on a white horse, and the armies of heaven also arrayed on white horses, ready to do battle.

Dake has these comments on the various means that the Antichrist's armies will be destroyed. I've included the list here along with the scripture references.

10 ways Antichrist's armies destroyed:

  1. By brightness of Christ's coming (2 Th. 2:8-9)

    2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

    2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

  2. By angels (2 Th. 1:7-10)

    1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

    1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

    1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

  3. Saints (Rev. 19:14; Jude 14; Zech. 14:5)

    19:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

    14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

  4. Cloudburst (Ezek. 38:22)

    38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

  5. Great hailstones (Rev. 16:21; Ezek. 38:22)
  6. Fire and brimstone (Ezek. 38:22)
  7. Pestilence and blood (Ezek. 38:22)
  8. Jewish army (Zech. 14:14)

    14:14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

  9. Self-destruction (Zech. 14:13)

    14:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

  10. Christ's sword (Rev. 19:15, 21; Isa. 11:4)

    11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Armageddon

Revelation 19:17-21

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

At the actual battle site, an angel calls the fowls together unto the supper provided by God. Specifically, they are called to come and feast on the decaying bodies of the armies of the Antichrist which came to attack Jerusalem that are destroyed by the Word. The beast and false prophet are cast into a lake of fire and brimstone.

Christ smites the remnant of the nations' armies with the words from his mouth - His sharp sword... And what is that sharp sword? Well, Ephesians says that when you put on the whole armor of God, the Sword of the Spirit is declared to be the Word of God - specifically the written Word of God. So we see that the Bible, along with all the other words God has issued from time to time through the words of prophecy and interpretation of tongues through the ages really do make a difference.

The Word comes out to defeat the world that hated the Word and all it stood for. Though Satan tried to wipe out all vestiges of it and to twist its meaning to allow all kinds of unholiness to be permitted and even encouraged instead of being called sin, in the end Christ declares truth really is white and evil really is black. Just as the Bible declares truth, the armies of the world are defeated. The fowls that came are gorged on the remains.

Revelation 20

The Bottomless Pit

Revelation 20:1-3:

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

At this point, Satan is bound for a period of 1,000 years. He is then cast into a bottomless pit, shut up, and sealed so the world is protected from his influence for the 1,000 years has elapsed. He is then loosed for awhile. Dake has these translation notes for the word bottomless - Gr. abussos, bottomless; unfathomed; enormous; abyss; unbounded; immeasurable depth.

After 1,000 years of Christ's rule, he is again let out for a little season to see if the people have learned anything I guess. By the way - they haven't, although that comes later.

The Millennial Reign

Revelation 20:4-6

20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The righteous dead reign with Christ during the Millennial period. The wicked dead aren't physically resurrected until this period comes to a close. The first resurrection is ended. The millennial period is covered in other scripture, but I'll include Dake's summary here.

The Millennium (Rev. 20:6)
50 points about the Millennium:

  1. Definition. Latin, mille, a thousand, and annus, year. The phrase thousand years is used 6 times in Rev. 20:1-7.
  2. It is the last dispensation for man before the final removal of the curse (22:3)

    In Scripture it is called:
  3. Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:1-10)
  4. It will be between the second advent and the New Heaven and New Earth (note h. 2, Rev. 19:19)
  5. The kingdom will be literal and earthly (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45, 7:13-27; Zech 14; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 5:10, 11:15, 20:1-10, 22:4-5)
  6. It will be a theocratic government (Isa. 2:2-4, 52:7; Ezek. 43:7; Dan. 2:44-45, 7:13-14; Zech. 14:1-21; Mt. 25:31-46; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15, 20:1-10)
  7. Christ will rule under God (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:13-14; Lk. 1:32-33)
  8. David will rule over all Israel under Christ (Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:24, 37:24-28; Hos. 3:4-5)
  9. The apostles will rule over one tribe each (Mt. 19:28; Lk. 22:30)
  10. All saints will have part in ruling as kings and priests (note k, Rev. 20:4)
  11. World capital will be Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-4; Ezek. 48; Zech. 14)
  12. The kingdom will be world-wide (Rev. 11:15; Dan. 2:44-45, 7:13-27; Zech. 14)
  13. Certain classes will not inherit the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21)
  14. Certain classes will be excluded from entrance into the kingdom (Mt. 5:20, 13:39-50, 24:45-51, 25:31-46; Rev. 14:9-11).
  15. The judgment of the living nations at the 2nd advent will determine who is worthy of entrance into the kingdom (Mt. 25:31-46)
  16. All nations will be required to send representatives to Jerusalem once a year to acknowledge Christ (Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 2:1-4, 35:8-9)
  17. The wicked dead will not be resurrected to live again in the Millennium or be given a second chance (Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15; Heb. 9:27)
  18. The earth will not be desolate during the Millennium (Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 14:16-2; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:1-10)
  19. There will be civil and religious laws for all nations (Isa. 2:2-4, 9:6-7, 11:3-5, 65:20; Zech. 14:16-21; 1 Cor. 15:24-28)
  20. The Gentile nations will be located in the part of the earth God gave to each nation and race (Dt. 32:8; Acts 17:26) (ed. this is a perhaps controversial interpretation)
  21. Israel will be given all the original promised land (Gen. 15:14-18, 17:6-19; Isa. 60:21; Ezek. 47:13-48:35)
  22. The world-capital building will be the future Jewish temple at Jerusalem (Ezek. 43:7; Zech. 6:12-13)
  23. A river will flow out from under the temple southward and part into two branches - one going into the Mediterranean and one into the Dead Sea, the waters of which will be healed and have many fish (Ezek. 47; Zech. 14:8)
  24. There will be earthly priests and Levites serving in the future temple (Isa. 66:19-24; Ezek. 43:19-27, 44:9-31)
  25. All the former sacrifices, feasts, and rituals of the temple worship will be continued as an eternal memorial of what they were types of before Christ fulfilled them (Ezek. 43:19-27, 44:5, 30, 45:17-25, 46:1-24; Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 66:19-24)
  26. The Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh (Isa. 32:5; Ezek. 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-32)
  27. Universal knowledge of the Lord will be manifest (Isa. 11:9; Zech 8:22-23)
  28. Jews will again be the missionaries to evangelize the nations (Isa. 2:2-4, 40:9, 52:7, 61:6, 66:18-21; Zech. 8:23)
  29. There will be one universal religion (Mal. 1:11; Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 2:2-4; Joel 2:28-31; Jer. 31:31-36)
  30. The glory of God will be continually manifest (Isa. 4:4-6;Ezek.43:1-5)
  31. Salvation in its fullness will be for all (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; Isa. 2:2-4, 11:9, 52:7; Heb. 8:10)
  32. Divine healing for the body will be experienced by all (Isa. 32:1-5, 33:24, 35:3-6, 53:5; Mt. 8:17; 1 Pet. 2:24)
  33. There will be universal peace (Isa. 2:4, 9:6-7; Mic. 4:3-4; Mal. 1:11)
  34. Universal prosperity will be a reality (Isa. 2:2-4, 65:20-25; Mic. 4:4-5)
  35. The financial system will be as in Israel (Gen. 14:20, 28:22 with Heb. 6:20, 7:1-10; Mt. 23:23; Rom. 2:22; 1 Cor. 9:7-18, 16:1-3; Mal. 3:10-12)
  36. Full justice will be meted out to all alike (Isa. 9:6-7, 11:3-5, 65:20-25, 66:1-2; Mt. 5:1-7:29)
  37. Human life will be prolonged indefinitely (Isa. 65:20-25; Zech. 8:4)
  38. Light from the planets will be increased 7 fold (Isa. 30:26, 60:18-22)
  39. Animal natures will be changed as before the fall (Isa. 11:6-8, 65:17-25; Rom. 8:18-23)
  40. Deserts will blossom again as a rose (Isa. 35:1-10, 55:12-13; Ezek. 36:8-12; Joel 2:18-27, 3:17-21; Amos 9:13-15)
  41. Love and righteousness will prevail (Isa. 9:6-7, 11:5, 32:1-5, 65:17-25)
  42. The Jews will be the head of all nations under the Messiah (Dt. 28:1-14)
  43. The test for man will be to obey Christ, the resurrected saints, and the laws (Ps. 2; Rev. 2:26-27, 5:10, 11:15, 12:5, 20:1-10)
  44. Fruitful seasons will be enjoyed without interruption (Isa. 30:23-25, 33:20-21, 35:6-7, 41:17-18, 49:10; Ezek. 34:26, 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8)
  45. Material blessings will fill the earth (Isa. 29:17, 30:23-24, 32:15, 35:1-7, 41:19, 49:9-10, 51:3, 55:13, 60:5-17, 62:8-9; Jer. 31:27-28; Ezek. 34:27, 36:25-35; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13)
  46. Waste places of the earth will be restored to usefulness (Isa. 32:16-18, 49:19, 52:9, 61:4-5; Ezek. 36:8-38; Amos 9:14-5; Acts 15:13-18)
  47. Great highways will cover the earth (Isa. 11:16, 19:23-25, 35:7-8)
  48. Normal increase of mankind (Gen. 1:26-28, 9:12; Isa. 9:6-7, 59:20, 65:20-25; Jer. 30:19, 33:22; Hos. 1:10)
  49. 10 fold purpose of God in the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ
  50. The Millennium will end in one more short period of rebellion. Then the final destruction of all rebels will take place, leaving the saints, natural and resurrected, in charge of the eternal perfect earth. (Rev. 20:7-10, 21:1-22:5; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Isa. 66:22-24)

Satan Released, Deceives the Nations, Is Cast into Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:7-10:

20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Dake comments better than I can about this sad state of affairs.

Satan's post-Millennial career and doom:

  1. When the 1,000 years are up it will be time for the segregation and destruction of all rebels, including Satan, and the renovation of the heavens and the earth by fire, which will result in the New Heaven and New Earth (2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 20:7-10, 21:1-22:5)
  2. Satan, his angels and demons will be loosed from the abyss (v 7; Isa. 24:22)
  3. Satan and his hosts will go throughout the earth to deceive the nations who have not wanted the reign of Christ and who, in their hearts, have longed for an opportunity to get rid of such strict laws and rigid suppression of their lusts (v 8; Eph. 2:1-3)
  4. The rebels will mobilize in the land of Gog and Magog, north of Palestine in Asia and ascend upon Jerusalem from the north (v 8. Cp. Ezek. 38-39 which refers to the same part of the earth, but to an event before the Millennium)
  5. The rebels from all parts of the earth will surround the camp of the saints and the capital, Jerusalem (v 9).
  6. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour every rebel (v 9; 2 Pet. 3:10-13)
  7. The devil will be taken and cast into the lake of fire forever (v 10)

Final Disposition of the Wicked Dead

Revelation 20:11-15:

20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

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

20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

After this is the great white throne judgment. All the wicked are resurrected physically and joined with their souls which have already been in torment since death. They all stand before God and they are judged based on their works and whether or not they accepted Christ. Death and hell are then cast into the lake of fire, along with everyone whose name wasn't found written in the book of life.

Conclusion

The last two chapters in Revelation deal with the ages to come and descriptions of what heaven will be like. It concludes with some more warnings to be ready.

I hope that reading this series has given you a greater desire to be more ready today than you were yesterday for Christ's return. No sane person would want to go through the problems the world is going to have when God starts pouring out His wrath on the planet. Unfortunately, there's a lot of insanity around.

Next lesson, we'll finish out Revelation with some descriptions of heaven.

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Dake excerpts taken from Dake's Annotated Reference Bible, © 1961, 1963 by Finis Jennings Dake, and is reproduced on our web site with permission from representatives of Dake Publishing.