All rights reserved by the author Homer Dewayne Shappley
Chapter Ten of the Commentary
Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment
The "thousand years" of Revelation
Popularly known as the...
Does the Millennium (the “thousand years” of Revelation 20) precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ "like a thief in the night," or does it transpire after the Second Coming?
What are the conditions on planet Earth
before, during, and after the Millennium?
Regarding the power and work of Satan Lucifer on planet Earth before and
after the Millennium, what does “deceive the nations” mean?
During the Millennium, Satan does not deceive the nations.
What does “not deceive the nations anymore” mean?
III. Does the Millennium precede the “day of the Lord” that “comes like a thief in the night,” or does it take place after that “day?”
A. The Millennium begins and runs its course during the present Common Era (Christian Age, for Christians), not before it nor after it. It is a New Testament prophecy for this Era and not for any earthly, extended time beyond this Era.
B. Regarding the “day of the Lord” in particular, one of the culminating events of that “day” that “comes like a thief in the night” is the flight of the material earth and heavens into oblivion,
no longer being found any place for them before the Almighty God of all creation. “Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them.” Revelation 20:11. They are consumed
in fire. 2 Peter 3:9-14. “They will perish... they will all wear out like clothing...” Hebrews 1:10-12
C. Since planet Earth will not last beyond the Second Coming of the Lord, it is altogether impossible that the Millennium should take place in this our material realm after his appearing “a second time” in glory, “not to deal with sin.” Hebrews 9:27-28. Therefore, it is unquestionably necessary to conclude that the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 will come before that “second” appearance. This conclusion is so evident and inescapable that it lays bare, for all discerning eyes to clearly see, the false foundation of the very popular, modern theology of “secret rapture-left behind-great tribulation-millennial kingdom on earth after the Second Coming of Christ-Third Coming.”
1. Jesus Christ does not come “as a thief” before the Millennium to “rapture” his church but “will appear a second time” after the Millennium and the “little while,” “not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28. With the exception of physical religious persecution, evil and sin continue on the earth during the Millennium, then multiply alarmingly during the “little while,” exploding like malignant, contagious scabies that corrupt, scar, and destroy the minds, souls, and spirits, if not also the physical bodies, of humans of all races, social, and economic levels, a subject explored at length in Part 3 of these studies on the Millennium.
However, suddenly, all these highly virulent, Satanic maladies, diseases, and cancers of moral, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual categories disappear eternally when Jesus Christ eliminates them once and for all on the day he appears “a second time,” defeating Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet; the rulers, authorities, and “cosmic powers of this present darkness… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-12); casting all guilty spiritual beings “alive into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:19-21
2. Contrary to the famous “Left Behind” series of 16 books and 5 movies by Tim Lehaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind), no human being is left behind alive on planet Earth after the second appearing of Jesus Christ, for the total destruction of the planet is inextricably linked to the Second Coming of the Lord “as a thief in the night,” an affirmation amply sustained in the study of 2 Peter 3:10-14, one of the documents composing Chapter Ten of this Commentary.
Let Mr. Lehaye, Mr. Jenkins, and all who collaborated with them in the world-wide dissemination of their distorted, sensationalist, unbiblical projections be doubly and triply careful lest they themselves be really and eternally “left behind,” that is, not included among the saved eternally. To their own everlasting shame, because they deceived multitudes of the spiritually unlearned and gullible with their Tom Chancy or Stephen King-like novels and professionally executed movies and videos!
Considering the remarks of Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:2-16, it may be said that, truly, they have received their own reward of fame and fantastic worldly riches already, the cornucopia of worldly fruits produced by the global sale of the media employed to capitalize on their patently erroneous eschatological fictions, which sprouted originally in the fertile soil of Pentecostal “Second Coming Frenzies and Fanaticism.”
3. Jesus Christ “will appear a second time” (Hebrews 9:28) and that will be his last “appearing” in the material universe. Definitely, he will NOT appear a “Third Time after the Millennium” to put an end to the material world and time, this “Third Time Appearance” being an unfounded doctrine most Pentecostals, and some other interpreters, postulate.
In a desperate attempt to justify the trumped-up theology of “secret rapture-left behind-great tribulation-earthly millennial reign of Christ after his Second Coming,” some “Raptureites” (believers in that theology) have conceived the ingenious idea of a “Second Coming in Two Phases.” As they explain, the “First Phase” would be that of a “Second Coming of Christ like a thief in the night to secretly rapture up prepared Christians, i.e., mostly Pentecostals and charismatics.” The “Second Phase” would occur more than a thousand years afterwards when “Christ would come to put an end to the material world.”
Ingenious, invented, and totally lacking in biblical backing! Christ “will appear a second time, not to deal with sin,” and that means not to continue dealing with it for an additional thousand years, and more. after his “second time” Coming. This affirmation surely constitutes the only sound Bible doctrine on this matter.
IV. What are the conditions on planet Earth before, during, and after the Millennium?
A. Before the Millennium, Satan deceives the nations. The expression “…so that he would deceive the nations no more” (Revelation 20:3) clearly implies that, before he was tied up by an angel from heaven and thrown into the bottomless pit, he did, indeed, deceive the nations. Before the “thousand years,” he deceived them but was bound up and thrown into the bottomless pit precisely to keep him from continuing to deceive them during the Millennium.
B. During the Millennium, Satan does NOT deceive the nations. It is plainly revealed to the apostle John and should be just as easy for us to understand, that the angel from heaven “threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him” for a very specific reason. Why? The divine explanation: “…so that he would deceive the nations no more.” For how long? “…until the thousand years were ended.” Revelation 20:2-3. What clarity! What conciseness!
C. After the Millennium, Satan again deceives the nations! “When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea.” Revelation 20:7-8. Again, the same astonishing clarity and conciseness!
D. The Bible revelations on the Millennium do not obligate us to conclude that these conditions would prevail simultaneously in all the countries of the world during the exact same lapse of time. A careful analysis of historical data leads us to conclude that the Millennium of religious freedom begins in some countries before it does in others, for not all countries legislate that freedom in the same year or even in the same decade or century. Likewise, when the Millennium begins to come to an end, it may be that the “little while” of renewed opposition to God, the Bible, and his people will take place in some nations before it does in others. In a general sense, for the nations that figure within the parameters of these particular prophecies, the Millennium takes place between the first period of religious persecution and the second period, identified as the “little while,” when persecution is renewed.
V. Regarding the power and works of Satan on planet Earth before and after the Millennium, what is the meaning of “deceive the nations?”
A. “Nation. A community of people composed of one or more nationalities and possessing a more or less defined territory and government.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nation
B. Satan deceives the nations by means of false religions, vain philosophies, and the lying signs that he is permitted to execute. Revelation 13:5-7, 13-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10. He deceives not only the general populace but also secular authorities and powers of all kinds and levels to such an extreme that great numbers of them turn hostile to the true God and his people on earth who faithfully follow him, actively persecuting them, verbally, psychologically, materially, and even physically.
The red and yellow colors of this flat map of the world and, on the right side, an ominous rising of dark forces represented by a hooded figure behind a portion of the globe of Earth, are interpreted as appropriate to illustrate the entrance of planet Earth into the last period of human history identified as the “little while,” during which Satan will again be unloosed and will proceed to “go abroad to the kings [nations, kingdoms, rulers, peoples] of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty… at the place… called Harmagedon.” Revelation 16:12-16
C. “Deceive the nations” does not signify that Satan is able to corrupt each and every citizen of all the nations on earth during the “little while” when he will again be loosed after the Millennium. To be sure, he is unable to deceive wise and spiritual people who faithfully, intelligently, consistently, and unselfishly follow the norms and precepts of God as set forth in the New Testament of the Bible, no matter the material-physical circumstances of their life on earth. Being Christians not only in word but in their deepest convictions and harmonizing lifestyles, these are people who tenaciously resist Satan, even being willing to sacrifice themselves in martyrdom, if necessary, for the cause of the Father God and Christ his Son as the ultimate proof of their unswerving, unimpeachable faith in both.
During the first, centuries-long period of persecution that precedes the Millennium, the true church of God and Christ exists in the midst of deceived, persecuting nations.
Contrary to the erroneous doctrine according to which “the church itself does not experience the great tribulation,” the true church of the Lord is also present on planet Earth during the “little while” when the nations again allow themselves to fall prey to the great deceits and lies of Satan. The work of the “Two Witnesses” and their earthly representatives during the “little while,” and what befalls them when that period is almost at an end, proves this affirmation. Revelation 11:3-12
Thus it is that, during the two periods of “deceived, persecuting nations,” the overwhelming majority of the populace, as also of the governing and administrative secular authorities, side with the deep, dark side of satanic agendas, patterns of thought and philosophy, norms of conduct, beliefs, and goals, that is, of evil and sin in their multitudinous manifestations from the least corrupt to their most destructive, debauched, and hellish irruptions. Nevertheless, the remanent that faithfully follows the Lamb of God is never deceived, always invariably maintaining its sanctity and rectitude.
VI. During the Millennium, Satan does not deceive the nations. What is the sense of “…he would deceive the nations no more?” Revelation 20:3
A. It is that the nations, particularly, their secular authorities and administrators, would no longer claim the right to forcefully impose on their citizens any designated religion or philosophy.
B. That the officials of any religion whatsoever, no matter how rich, powerful, or large, would not be allowed to exercise dominion over secular authorities and administrators for its own benefit nor use the “secular arm” to persecute, torture, or kill members of any other religion.
C. That secular authorities would not establish any church or religion as the “state church or religion,” proscribing, treating as inferior, discriminating against, or denying equal rights to any and all other religions, churches, cults, etc.
D. That the secular authorities legally guarantee and uphold true and equal religious liberty for all its citizens, that liberty not including, of course, criminal activity of any kind.
Text and document composition by Homer Dewayne Shappley
CATEGORY Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. 21st Century Commentary.
El Milenio, Parte 2 en ESPAÑOL.
Part 3 of the series of studies on the Millennium. Do people on earth during the Millennium continue to sin? What organizations are on earth during the Millennium? Eleven photographs and graphics. Two video clips.
Could YOU TRANSLATE this STUDY? If you are academically QUALIFIED to TRANSLATE THIS SUBJECT to your NATIVE LANGUAGE, would you be willing to do that free of charge as an additional resource of serious information to all who speak it? Have the accuracy of your translation verified by at least one other person. Your name as translator would appear on the document. If you are willing, please inform me, identifying the language, or languages to which you can translate. I would be most grateful and perhaps many people might thank you and praise you for your invaluable service, Homer Dewayne Shappley firstname.lastname@example.org