With the final and total destruction of Babylon, God’s enemies have been all but defeated and the war for Planet Earth is just about over. “Hallelujah,” we all shouted from Heaven, “For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Hallelujah is a Hebrew word meaning “Praise the Lord” and after the fact I was surprised to learn that I’m the only New Testament writer who used it. I guess the Lord was saving it for just this occasion. It certainly applies.
I looked around again and saw Heaven standing open and there before me was a rider on a white horse. Unlike the one I had seen in a vision at the beginning of my story, this one was the real thing. He was even wearing the right crown, the crown of royalty. So there would be no mistaking His identity, I gave Him the name I had coined in my gospel account; the Word of God. The armies of Heaven were with Him on white horses of their own, all clean and dressed in white linen. By the blood on His garments and the absence of any on theirs it was clear that He was defeating His enemies all by Himself, just as Isaiah had foretold. (Isa. 63:1-6) No babe in arms this time, He’s here to assume command of His creation and won’t be taking any guff from anyone.
Down on Earth the anti-christ and the armies of all the nations gathered together for their final stand, but just like that He wiped them all out. As opposed to the bow without arrows carried by the imposter in my earlier vision, the Lord spoke with such power and authority it’s as if His words were a sharp double edged sword. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! The anti-christ and false prophet were captured alive, but all it took for all the armies of Earth to be slain in their tracks was the sound of His voice. God summoned demonic creatures that looked like birds to consume their dead flesh. The anti-christ and false prophet were thrown alive into the place of eternal suffering reserved for Satan and his followers, to be tormented forever.
And then the most incredible thing happened. An angel with a great chain and the key to the underworld came down from Heaven. He single handedly captured Satan, bound him with the chain and locked him away for 1000 years. Satan has one more appearance to make in God’s Grand Design but for the duration of the Millennium he’ll be in solitary confinement.
Then all those who had refused to worship the anti-christ and been martyred for their faith in the Lord were brought back to life to reign with Christ for 1000 years. With this event, the first resurrection that had begun with Jesus Himself coming out of the grave, was over. All those who died in faith from the cross till now, together with those raptured with the Church, were alive again to receive the blessings of the Kingdom Age.
This is a good time to remind you that the Bible, being God’s Word for the age of man, doesn’t speak of events that take place before the Creation or after the Millennium. But so you’ll know his ultimate disposition, at the very end of our Lord’s 1000 year reign on Earth, Satan’s set free again. And without a speck of remorse or any evidence of a change of heart, he immediately begins recruiting a massive army to go up against God one more time. And can you believe it, even after 1000 years of peace under the perfect rule of the Lord Himself, and with the lessons of history to teach them what happened the last time someone took on the Lord, a huge mass of people responds to his call. But the Lord sends down fire from Heaven and devours them all in a flash. Then that old devil Satan is thrown into the place of eternal suffering to join the anti-christ and the false prophet to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And with that we’re finally rid of him.
I’ve often wondered why the Lord placed this 1000 year period between time and eternity. I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s to shatter all our excuses for our behavior. Ever since the Garden of Eden, we’ve been blaming outside circumstances each time we’re caught sinning. First we say, “The devil made me do it”. So in the Millennium God has Satan chained and imprisoned. Then we say, “If only you hadn’t gone away and left us.” So He comes back to personally rule over us. Then we say, “It’s the bad example of all those unbelievers.” So He takes all the unbelievers off the planet at the beginning of the Millenium and leaves only those who’ve survived the Great Tribulation and professed their faith in Him to repopulate the Earth. (Note: See Matt. 25:31-46). And after 1000 years of Heaven on Earth, there’s still enough sin in the hearts of unregenerate man to staff Satan’s final rebellion the minute he’s freed. Even under ideal conditions such as these, natural man cannot behave well enough to please God and will rebel against His authority the first chance he gets. Only after he’s perfected by God can man hope to please Him. Our need for a Savior is indisputable.
One more thing happens at the very end of the Millennium. After Satan’s been dealt with, the Lord brings all the unsaved dead back to life for their final judgment. Boy are they surprised! Having lived their lives ignoring or denying God, they now stand face to face with Him to explain their behavior. As the events of their lives are reviewed, all the times they heard and rejected the gospel are pointed out. And having refused God’s offer of pardon, they now become accountable for their sins. They’re judged and thrown into the place of eternal suffering. It’s such a shame. The place was created for Satan and his angels so man has to choose to go there. He does so by committing the one unpardonable sin, refusing God’s remedy in favor of his own.
With those two glimpses of the end of the Millennium, let’s go back to its beginning. Before my very eyes, I saw Heaven and Earth restored to their original condition before sin entered the world and messed things up. I realized that some of the “natural disasters” that took place during the Tribulation were actually re-shaping the Earth and changing its orbit to permit this restoration.
Then I saw the New Jerusalem coming down out of the sky to enter its orbit near Earth. Because of its size, which I’ll detail in a minute, and the fact that only perfected believers can live there, there’s no way this city could ever be a part of Earth, but it has to be near to permit travel back and forth. The city was absolutely huge, over 1400 miles square and 1400 miles high. Some speculate that there’s enough room there for each and every believer to have his own 10,000 square foot mansion. The city had 12 gates, one each for the 12 tribes of Israel and each made of a single pearl. (That’s a hoot! Oysters aren’t even kosher.) It also had 12 foundations covered with precious gems, named for the 12 apostles. There wasn’t any temple in the city, nor did it need the light from the sun or moon because the Father and the Son both dwell there. Their Presence provides all the light that’s necessary. Leaders of all the nations of Earth come and pay tribute bringing all their honor and glory, but no one impure can ever enter, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
On Earth a Great Temple, built in Israel to glorify God, gushed forth a giant spring of fresh pure water. It became a river that flowed west to the Mediterranean and east to the Dead Sea. Its waters freshened the Dead Sea and permitted fish to flourish there (Note: see Ezekiel 47). All along the river’s banks fruit trees grew, each bearing a new crop every month of the year. Their leaves had healing power, and the fruit was delicious to eat. Near the Temple the Father and Son had their Throne, and from there they would rule the world for ever and ever.
I was so overcome with joy at seeing all the splendor that God has in store for those who love Him that I fell at the feet of the angel who was showing it to me, and he scolded me. “Worship God alone,” he said. Good advice.
Then my Lord said, “Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” I could see that He meant that God in His infinite wisdom has given all of us all the right to choose our own destiny. By what He showed me it’s obvious that everyone ever born lives forever. The only question is where we’ll spend eternity. Choose Him and receive eternal life in the City of God. Reject Him and it’s eternal punishment with Satan and his followers in his place of torment. The choice has never been so clear.
He then told me to warn all of the millions who would read this letter down through the centuries. Take this message seriously! Grave consequences would await the one who either adds to or tries to dilute its purpose and content. But as He told me at the beginning, great blessings would come to the ones who read, hear and take to heart what I’ve written
To this I say, Amen: Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.