Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jesus' reign for 1000 years (Revelation 20, John 1:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 )

"We long for God's goodness and hope"
We have lots of deer in New Jersey.

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

All around it seems like violence is stirring up.  We have heard of a couple of men who died as a result of a couple of Police.  The temptation is to believe all police are doing this.  Deep down we know it isn't true.  This happened before, in the 60's.  We are dismayed and afraid of the protests, of not knowing where to turn.  To express the horror of death, people chose to destroy businesses, cars, whatever they could touch.  The owners didn't deserve it.  Where is the hope? the love?  Respect for our neighbors and their property?  God hasn't forgotten us.  This part of Revelation describes 1000 years of peace.  I can't even imagine that much time.  Jesus will reign on earth.  He is full of compassion, He sees all and knows all.  No one will be able to hide from the truth or the light.  

Revelation 20

Satan Bound 1000 Years
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The devil is in chains!  Woohoo!  We are free.  Jesus will reign on the earth!  It seems to me that God has seen all that the devil has done to destroy and deceive His kingdom.  So in order to sift out those who have been deceived and allow them to know the truth, Satan will get a new home in the abyss.  It's a shaft in the center of the earth.  Sorta wish it would stop here with the devil but God has something else in mind later on.  I can't help but notice some of this is also in Greek Mythology, "Hades," the "Abyss."  Jesus came before the Greeks : )  I believe God's Holy Spirit was spreading His message long before we were born.  With no TV sets in this time period, fishermen, shepherds and merchants would watch the stars and tell stories of the constellations as entertainment.  It would be fun to hear their stories today after all we've learned.  The Bible is the inspired Word of God.  God spread His message by inspiring people and He still is.

Moving right along... 
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
(John 1:1-5 NKJV)
The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years
Woohoo!  No temptation, peace, love, joy and fun.  I want to paint by the River of Life : )  if it would please the Lord.  The martyrs and all those who didn't take the mark of the beast will be able to partake in the 1000 years.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

These verses describe what is written above.  This would be from a letter the Apostle Paul wrote.  The Bible is a huge book and it's hard to grasp all the links and consistency in it.  But this is one that is pretty awesome.  Revelation was recorded by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos.  The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians along the same lines:
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV)
Satanic Rebellion Crushed
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Woohoo!  No more devil.  However some people will rebel against God during Jesus' reign of peace.  Their actions will be judged.  Even in a place of peace and joy with our loving, perfect Savior some will still believe sin is more fun, "I want 'my precious,' back."

It's the one thing that is their addiction over all rational choice like, "Smeagol's gold ring," in Lord of the Rings.  It will bring ultimate self destruction.  Even near the end, we all have choices, God doesn't use mind control to make us His robots.  We are free to choose.

The Great White Throne Judgment
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Those who believe Jesus is their Savior, won't be judged from the Great White Throne.  It's really a relationship with God.  Jesus is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.  He is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at once.  When I got to know Him at first, I laughed for the first time in years.  My first spiritual gift was joy.  This heavy blanket of depression just disappeared, I was 16.  He changed my life and I still have the joy.
(Revelation 20:1-15 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up those who have been frightened by the latest incidents in the US.  I pray You will heal our land and help us to find peace in You.  We are so looking forward to Your return.  No more war or violence.  You will be our God and no human will take Your place.  I also pray for the families who lost loved ones.  Help them be able to understand and know of Your amazing love.  Bring healing, love and hope to our country.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

This is the best song for this section of Revelation.  My throat gets tight just hearing the Soprano section : ) can't believe we sang this last year!
Royal Choral Society, Hallelujah Chorus (link)

I just learned that Pastor Chuck passed away last year.  One of His legacies is the Blue Letter Bible with his notes (I've been using them).  He had a big part of the Jesus movement in the 60's and led countless people to the Lord. He started Calvary Chapel in a Circus Tent in Costa Mesa so the Hippies could come to Church barefoot.  Here's the Notes from Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa:

v.3 "The bottomless pit" is also called the abussos or shaft which goes from the surface to the center of the earth. Hades, in the center of the earth, is where dead men go; the abussos is where the demons go.
v.4 Those on the thrones of judgment may be the Church.
v.6 The Church will be in heavenly bodies and, thus, will not be subject to the deceptions of Satan.
v.7-9 Many people will choose to follow Satan, though they will have lived on earth during the reign of Christ. They will rebel against the "rod of iron"-the enforced righteousness that will characterize His reign.
v.10 "Forever and ever" is from the ages to the ages.
v.11-15 The great white throne judgment will not be for the Church.
v.12 The books that will be opened suggests that accounts of our actions are kept in heaven.

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