“The GWT” – One Year Bible Reading – December 29

Old Testament:   Zechariah 14:1-21

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Zechariah 14:1-21   A Future For Israel

In Chapter 14, Zechariah sees the great battle to end all battles: Armageddon.  All of the nations assemble (v. 2) to fight Christ (v. 3).  He will touch down on the Mount of Olives (v. 4a, cf. Acts 1:11-12).  Half of the mountain will move north and half will move south (v. 4b).  The Jews will flee like they did in the days of Uzziah when God sent an earthquake of judgment (v. 5a, cf. Amos 1: 1).

The “holy ones” (v. 5b) will be the raptured saints coming back to earth and the angels.  “In that day” (v. 6) is the day of the coming of the Lord.  It will be dark.  “Unique” means one of a kind (cf. Isa. 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10, 30-31; 3:15; Matt. 24:29).  There never has been and never will be anything like it (cf. Acts 2: 19 -20).  There will be some illumination at night so people will know when the days end (v. 7).  God is rearranging the earth in preparation for Christ’s Millennial reign.  Water will flow from Jerusalem, perhaps due to the topological changes, that will nourish spiritually and physically (v. 8).

The key verse in the chapter is verse 9, “the Lord will be king over all the earth.”  Everyone will know He is the Only One.  Jerusalem will rise up and be higher than all the land around it which will be made a plain (v. 10).  The fortunes of the Jews will be reversed from the earlier attack (v. 2) so that they will be able to dwell in security (v. 11).

A plague will strike Israel’s enemies so that “their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouths” (v. 12).  Ick.  This could be caused by a nuclear blast.  A panic will break out (v. 13, duh) and Israel will plunder the surrounding nations reversing some of the effects of the attack in verse 2 (v. 14).  The animals will also be affected (v. 15).

The Feast of Tabernacles (cf. Lev. 23:33- 43) will be re-instituted (v. 16).  The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the coming of Messiah (it also looked back to their days in the wilderness but also forward to Christ’s Millennial reign, cf. Num. 20:8-11; Ps. 78:15-16, also Zech. 14:8, 16-19). Those nations that do not celebrate will experience famine, except for Egypt, who are singled out for special punishment, plagues (vv. 17-19).

Everything in that day will be holy including the bells on the horses’ bits and the crock pots (v. 20).  All the crooks will be gone (v. 21, Canaanites)!

How can anyone believe that there is no future for Israel when their promises will be fulfilled?  There would be a lot of wasted paper in everyone’s Bibles!

New Testament:  Revelation 20:1-15

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Revelation 20:1-15   The GWT Judgment

We are in the midst of a spiritual conflict in Heaven that’s being played out on earth (cf. Job 1:6-8; 1 Pet. 5:8; Zech. 3:1 -2; Rev. 12:9-10).  If you don’t realize this, you are losing your part of the battle.  God has been giving Satan his chance to try to prove that he could do a better job at ruling the world than God (cf. Matt. 4:8-9; Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4).  He has failed miserably.  God will give him one more chance after the Millennium to give things a shot but will again fail miserably (Rev. 20:7-8).

John sees an angel coming down from Heaven holding the key of the Abyss.  This is the holding tank for demons (cf. Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:1).  The angel threw Satan into the Abyss and sealed it shut for a thousand years so he wouldn’t be able to wreak havoc during the reign of Christ.  The thousand years are the literal thousand year kingdom of Christ aka the Millennium, from the Latin “millennium” (cf. earth (Isa. 2:3; Dan. 7:14; Zech. 14:9).  In case you missed whom he was speaking about, John names him four times, “the dragon,” “the serpent of old,” a reference to his place in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3: 10),  “the devil,” and “Satan” (v. 2).   He will be released for a short time after the thousand years (v. 3b).

The Tribulation martyrs will come back to life and reign with Christ as priests for the thousand years (v. 4, 6b).  The rest of the dead came back to life after the thousand years (v. 5a).  John names this the “first resurrection”(v. 5b).  They will never die again, they will not experience “the second death” that unbelievers will experience (v. 6).

After the thousand year Millennium, Satan will be let loose to do his deceiving work again all over the world (v. 7).  His job will be to gather all those who refused to trust Christ for salvation during the thousand years and assemble for battle once again (v. 8, not the battle of Armageddon).  It wasn’t a long battle.  Fire came down from Heaven and ate them all up (v. 9).

Finally, the devil received his just punishment.  He was banished to the “lake of fire” along with the Antichrist and his henchman, the false prophet (v. 10a).  They will be tormented for eternity, all “day and night” (v. 10b).

The remaining verses in this chapter refer to the Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers after the end of the thousand years (vv. 11, 12, 15; believers are judged at the bema seat, not for salvation but for rewards, cf. Rom. 14:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10).  Unbelievers will be judged by their works (“deeds,” v. 12d).  Of course, works will not be sufficient to get anyone into Heaven.  Listing in the “book of life” is by faith only and unbelievers’ names will not be found there (v. John 5:29).  No one’s good works will ever outweigh their bad works.  The only work that God accepts for salvation is Jesus’ work on the cross.  The only way His work is accrued to our account is by faith (cf. Eph. 2:8-9).

Christ is the One sitting on the great throne (cf. John 5:30, 12:48; Rev. 3:21; Matt. 19:28; 25:31; John 5:22; 2 Cor. 5:10).  No matter what form of death a person experiences, his or her remains will be retrieved to reunite with the spirits to stand before God in judgment (v. 13a).  Again, it is stated that their judgment is based on what they did in life (v. 13b).  No matter what they’ve done, it won’t measure up to the perfection God desires and found in Christ.  They will all be tossed into the “lake of fire,” aka, the second death.  It is the second death, because they will die once and then after that will die eternally after the judgment.  If you find yourself before a gigantic White Throne and Jesus is sitting there, it is a very bad thing.  You will probably wet yourself . . .  appropriately.  Believers will probably not even see this throne.  Their names will be written in the “book of life” (v. 15) and will be off doing something else unless they are allowed to observe the proceedings to see people who mocked and abused them get their just desserts.

 

I have written more on this passage in this blog,  Addendum To The End

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