The Beginning and the End
Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Isaiah 46:9, Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.'
Revelation 20:1, 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.
a). The first part of Revelation chapter twenty reveals the capturing, binding and casting of Satan into the abyss for one thousand years. The word “abyss” comes from the Greek word tartaros (Strong’s concordance #G5020) meaning “without bottom” or the “bottomless pit” (the deepest abyss of Hades). It is reserved for Satan and his fallen angels who will be incarcerated in torment. God sent a powerful angel with a “great chain” to lay hold of Satan and to lock him up in this part of Hades. Satan will be kept chained in the sealed abyss for one thousand years, during the time that Christ and His co-heirs will take the scepter and rule over the earth in his stead. At this point in time, Satan’s crown (diadem) will be taken from him and it will be worn by Christ, as the new Ruler; as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” This was prophesied by Isaiah 2,700 years earlier ----
Isaiah 24:21, It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. 22 They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.
2). The breaking of the seventh seal in Revelation 8:1 will mark Christ’s completion of the redemption of the inheritance. Time in relation to Man’s Day will have run its course and Christ’s work will be completed. This is why when the seventh seal is opened there was silence in heaven for about half an hour (Revelation 8:1). The seventh seal also introduced the seven trumpets and the seven bowls, which provided additional commentary to the judgments previously revealed in the first six seals of the scroll.
a). Then the seventh trumpet sounded in loud triumph revealing Christ’s finished work and the kingdom proclaimed---
Revelation 11:15, Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
b). A parallel to the seventh trumpet is the seventh bowl,
again revealing Christ’s finished work regarding the redemption of
Revelation 16:17, Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises, and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
c). Both the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl have to do with a full and complete end. When the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, time in relation to Man’s Day has ended, the “mystery of God” has been brought to completion, and the kingdom of this world has become that “of our Lord, and of His Christ.” The end, which was declared from the beginning (Genesis) was finally at hand! And following this announcement there were “noises, and thunderings and lightnings, and there was a great earthquake” (lit., a great shaking) and “great hail.”
d). When the seventh bowl was poured into the air, a loud voice came out of the temple in heaven, saying, “It is done!” Then, the same thing is seen which followed the announcement concerning the transfer of regal power --- there were “voices, and thunders and lightning, along with “a great earthquake” and “great hail from heaven fell upon men.”
e). Numerous metaphors are being used to picture the full measure of God’s judgment that will have fallen upon the final form of the kingdom of Babylon, with a complete disarray and collapse of the government of the earth. And the full revelation of God, through the revelation of His Son, will be realized at this point.
3). A rainbow now follows, seen on the head of the “mighty angel” who sounds the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10), in connection with a past judgment of Israel and the nations. Judgment is over, signified by the rainbow, and the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ has begun.
Isaiah 2:2, Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
4). Revelation 20:4-6 then deals with individuals executing judgment from heavenly thrones, and with two resurrections. “Judgment” is also used in a synonymous sense to the word “reign.” For example, in Matthew 19:27 note Peter’s question along with Christ’s response:
27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore, what shall we have?” 28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
a). During the Millennial reign of Christ, the twelve disciples will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. So in this respect, the Kingdom can be viewed as 1,000 years of judging.
b). So in Revelation 20:4-6 we find that the individuals being referred to who are sitting on heavenly thrones are clearly revealed ---
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..
c). The identity of these individuals occupying thrones in Revelation 20:4 is easily determined --- it is those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God --- Tribulation Martyrs. They were awarded to live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. So Scripture clearly reveals the groups that will possess extensions of Christ’s throne with His bride, with power emanating from His throne: 1) the Twelve Disciples, 2) the Tribulation Martyrs and 3) some Old Testament Saints.
5). Revelation 20:4-6 also deals with two resurrections – one occurring before the Millennium and the other occurring after the Millennium. However, in this text, bodily resurrection is not what is in view. Rather, the word translated resurrection here, anastasis, has to do with one group of individuals “standing up out of” another group of individuals, with the context clearly relating to that which awaits both faithful and unfaithful. Just as we see in Philippian 3:11 having to do with an out-resurrection (spiritual, not physical) of Christians following the Judgment seat of Christ, so also do we see here in Revelation 20 with the Tribulation saints. Some of these saints will be allowed to stand up out of others thereby able to rule and reign for 1,000 years, but others will not be allowed to stand up and rule and reign for 1,000 years. They will experience the “second death” and will not be able to stand up until after the 1,000 years.
6). The Millennium will be a time when those dwelling on the earth will experience God’s righteous judgment through His Son, with His co-heirs, as they rule the earth. Christ will begin His role as the great King-Priest, according to the order of Melchizedek (cf. Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 7:21). The Messianic Era, in this respect, will be 1,000 years of cleansing, witnessing and judging (cf. Psalms 2:6-12; 110:1-7). During this time, the entire Jewish nation will go worldwide to the Gentiles with God’s message (cf. Isaiah 53). The bride of Christ will rule and reign from the heavens over the earth, each having their proper positions and ruling over certain cities (cf. Luke 19:17-19). Christ’s kingdom will consist of two realms: 1) Christ ruling and reigning from heaven with His bride seen in Revelation 3:21 and 2) Christ ruling and reigning from David’s throne on the earth with the nation of Israel (cf. Isaiah 24:23; 2 Samuel 7).
Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
a). During the Millennial Kingdom, Christ and His co-heirs will dwell in the heavenly Jerusalem, which will be the capital of the earth; and the earthly Jerusalem will consist of a restored nation (Israel) in their land as head of the nations, in which Christ will also dwell. Christ will have a dual reign, the two realms which He created from the beginning – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the
heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the
general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in
heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made
II// Earthly---Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously. (Isaiah 24:23)
b). During the Messianic Era, all nations on earth will come to worship the Lord and He will rule over them (Isaiah 66:20-23). He will rebuild Jerusalem and His Temple and divide the Land amongst the twelve tribes of Israel for an inheritance (Ezekiel 40-46). And the sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the center (Ezekiel 48:10).
Isaiah 11:4, But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
c). The curse on the earth is lifted; even the cruel beasts are miraculously regenerated with a new nature. This portrays a reign of peace and security. In God’s peaceful kingdom, carnivores will become herbivores; natural enemies will become companions; and little children will play safely near the dwellings of formerly venomous snakes. During the Millennial Kingdom, a youngster will be able to lead formerly wild animals. This pictures for man the end of terror and danger in the coming kingdom. And all nations shall live peaceably amongst each other as man shall not learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4). Israel shall live peaceably in their land and rebuild. The curse of the land would have been removed and it shall bring prosperity, as one enjoys the work of his hands. And occupying the position of God’s firstborn son among the nations, Israel will possess the rights of primogeniture with the nations ruled by and blessed through Israel.
Isaiah 65:19, I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying...21They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit...22c And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble...25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” says the Lord.
Zechariah 8:23, Thus says the Lord of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
7). In the heavens, where the rule emanates from, Christ and His bride will possess crowns and will reign gloriously in the heavenly kingdom for 1,000 years. All of the promises noted in Revelation chapters two and three will be in the bride’s possession, and they will be like Christ, full of power and glory. These faithful Christians will experience great joy and fulfillment as they share the kingdom with Christ. Words cannot express the love, joy and excitement that will fill their hearts and souls. On another note, Christians who were not found worthy to enter into these promises were cast into the outer darkness or lake of fire during the course of 1,000 years and they will experience great regret and remorse for such time. (For more information, see Part 3 of this study)
8). Following the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be loosed from the abyss to deceive the nations once again (Revelation 20:7). The armies from the nations of the earth will be gathered to the land of Israel, under Satan, for the same reason as before — to try and destroy Israel. The four corners of the earth [all the Gentile nations] are referred to as “Gog, the land of Magog.” The word “Gog” refers to a people (the Gentiles) and “Magog” refers to a land (land(s), or earth). And they will gather and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city, Jerusalem.
a). God’s purpose for this great battle is to put an end to all unrighteousness. Following the Messianic Era, there will no longer be a need for judging or cleansing. The nation of Israel would have ministered God’s message to the Gentiles worldwide, and all nations would have had the opportunity to be saved. Therefore, once the thousand years are finished, judgment on earth will end forever, and those who have made the choice to follow Him will be saved into the Eternal Ages.
b). When the armies under Satan are gathered in Jerusalem, then God will destroy them all with the sound of His voice, referred to as fire that will come down from God out of heaven to devour them. Satan, the Dragon, will be captured and cast into the lake of fire forever, where the beast and false prophet will have been for the last one thousand years.
Revelation 20:10, And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
c). The closing paragraph of Revelation chapter twenty
depicts the final events that will end the Messianic Era. After
dealing with the Gentiles and Satan and his angels, God will put an
end to all matters dealing with the present heaven and the present
earth. Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father. God will
then destroy the present heaven and earth and create a new heaven
and a new earth, moving matters into the Eternal Ages, known as
“the day of God.”
2 Peter 3:11, Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Revelation 20:11, 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.
1 Corinthians 15:24, Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death...28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
9). The Great White Throne Judgment will be the final judgment of all unsaved man. And like Christians, they will be judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (Revelation 20:12). All of the unsaved from Adam until this time will be present, both small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. (Revelation 20:12a, b) Because they have rejected God, it is evident that their works will show them disapproved and not belonging to the Lord, but to Satan. In view of this, they will be cast into the same place prepared for the devil and his angels — the lake of fire forever, in torment day and night.
a). The Great White Throne Judgment will also bring an end to sin and death in relation to man, revealed in 1 Corinthians 15:25, For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
b). At the Great White Throne, the sea [a place of death] will
deliver up the unburied bodies, Death will deliver up the buried
bodies, and Hades will deliver up the souls. Then, all unsaved man
will be judged according to their works, revealed in Revelation
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.
c). After all of the unsaved have been judged and condemned, then Death and Hades will also be destroyed. This will mark the end of all sin, of all unrighteousness, and of all death. From this point on, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4b).
d). Revelation chapter twenty-one introduces the Eternal Ages, with a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And there was no more sea (“sea” is a metaphor referring to either Gentiles or death; here it is a reference to “death” as in Revelation 20:13). Death will no longer exist; therefore man will be immortal forever. The previous Heaven and Earth had sin in both realms, beginning with the sin of Satan and his fallen angels in heaven and then sin, through Satan, invading the earth, bringing about man’s fall. And this was the purpose for the destruction of the first heaven and the first earth by fire — to destroy sin and death once and for all.
10). The following Scriptures from Revelation 21:2-8 provide a brief synopsis of the Eternal Ages. Then, it ends with an overcomer’s promise and corresponding warnings, which relate back to the previous Millennium. God’s promise and warning is mentioned here to exhort believers to run the race in order to become co-heirs with Christ during the Millennium, an heirship position that will continue on during the Eternal Ages (but in a different capacity).
a). A brief description of the opening of the Eternal Ages is recorded in Revelation 21:2,
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of
heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And
I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be
their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall
be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He
who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for
these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is
done!” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”
b). In Revelation 21:6, the phrase “It is done!” is proclaimed. The consummation of God’s work throughout Man’s Day and the Lord’s Day, a time span of 7,000 years, will have been completed. God’s redemptive work of 6,000 years for man will be completed; Christ’s 1,000-year reign will be finished; and the kingdom will be delivered up to God the Father bringing in the “Day of God.”
c). In Revelation 21:9-22:5 a description of the New Jerusalem is provided. Revelation 21:9 begins again with the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.
d). Following the Messianic Era, the destruction of the present heaven and earth will bring into existence the new heaven and the new earth, and the New Jerusalem is seen coming down from heaven to rest upon the new earth. The New Jerusalem will stand on the new earth as the capital city and the center of government. As noted in Revelation 21:15-17, it will be over 1400 miles square and over 1400 miles high — a city so vast that it will supersede the present size of the earth. The city will be the dwelling place of God and of the Lamb. It will contain the center of government forever. And both God and His Son will administer the government of the heavens and the earth through man and angels.
e). A description is also given concerning the construction of the New Jerusalem: The twelve gates will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve foundations will have the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The construction of the New Jerusalem will be made of precious stones and pure gold.
Revelation 21:22, But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light...
f). There will be no need of a temple building, for the glory of God and of the Lamb will fill the city and those who are saved shall walk in its light. Unlike the Millennial Kingdom, the gates to this new Jerusalem will never be shut. There shall be no darkness or night, but the glory of God and of the Lamb will shine the city at all times.
Revelation 22:1, And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.
4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there. They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
h). Because of Adam’s fall, the tree of life was forbidden and he was driven out from the garden. Adam could not be permitted to eat of this tree in a fallen condition. And this is why the tree of life has not re-appeared during Man’s Day, for man’s redemption has not yet been realized, not until the Lord’s Day. But we see in Revelation 2:7 that partaking of the tree of life has been promised to the overcomers from among those already possessing eternal life.
i). This clearly shows that the tree of life was not to provide immortal life (for this will already be in the possession of every believer), but to provide a provision for those who will rule and reign. Therefore, regality is what is connected to the tree of life.
j). During the Eternal Ages, the tree of life will extend to all of the saved and its purpose will be for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2). Its leaves will provide restorative healing. In other words, God will restore all of the saved to the initial position that man occupied in the beginning of creation — to rule and reign. And during this time, all of the saved will have access to the tree of life to give them the restorative healing and wisdom needed to rule over the earth and the heavens. This tree will be available to the nations of the earth, something that was completely out of place during the Millennium, and this happened because of the end result of Israel’s proclamation of God’s message during the Millennium and because of Christ’s rule over them as well.
k). During this point in time, power and authority will be exercised not only over the earth, but will be extended to the entire heavens. The New Jerusalem will come down from the heavens and will be the place from where rule will emanate, as this will be God’s dwelling place. The rule and reign of the overcomers (i.e., the Bride) during the Messianic Era will continue on during the Eternal Ages, but not in the same capacity, as conditions in the Eternal Ages will be different. For instance, death and sin will no longer exist in the Eternal Ages as it did in the Millennium. Therefore, there will be no need to “rule with a rod of iron.” The Millennium will be a time of cleansing, teaching and judging. However, in the Eternal Ages, perfect order will exist. All of the saved will rule and reign over the ages, forever. Christians who were cast out of the kingdom during the Millennium are now able to take part in ruling and reigning during the Eternal Ages.
l). Man’s rule in that day can only extend into places throughout the heavens, and therefore man will have the ability and authority to roam it all.
m). Scripture reveals that the Eternal Ages will consist of continuous praise and joy. God will fashion a new cosmos that will be ready for the enjoyment of His people. Everything former will not be remembered any longer and the New Jerusalem will invoke eternal peace, safety and glory.
11). In Revelation 22:6-21, exhortations and warnings are
given in light of Christ’s return and all that is to follow, so that
His servants know and are prepared for the things which must
shortly take place (Revelation 1:1; 22:6).
b). Christ repeated the phrase, “Behold, I am coming quickly!” in Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20, to stress the importance of being prepared for His return because of the things written in this Book.
c). In Revelation 22:12-17, Christ reverted back to a time previous to the Messianic Era. He presented His testimony to the Church, exhorting them to heed His call and abide in His commandments so that they can enter His gates from the beginning of His reign and be awarded the most superlative, most superabundant and most amazing salvation — a salvation which is unimaginable to man! During His testimony, the Spirit and the bride together extend an invitation to join them in the heavenly kingdom.
Revelation 22:17, And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
12). Let us heed the words of Christ and keep them close to our
hearts and minds daily until He returns---for the end is near.
Revelation 22:12, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” AMEN!