Books Were Opened

The big one is coming. We all know that. We also know the big one might turn out to be the very big one. The 700-mile-long Cascadia subduction zone that’s just off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington will, sooner or later, produce a mammoth earthquake, scientists say.” So writes Douglas Perry in the Oregonian last Friday. Historically, the big one has come at roughly 300–500 year intervals, and the last big one was in 1700. Telling people it is coming (8.7 to 9.2 on the Richter scale) is one thing. Getting us to take some kind of action is another. It may happen soon, or it may not happen until you have been dead and buried for a couple hundred years—in which case you likely will not notice. In Revelation 20:11–15 John writes of an event that will most certainly happen, though we do not know when. And it will involve, not only the living, but also the dead—every single person who has ever lived will stand before God’s throne. Continue reading “Books Were Opened”

Satan’s Doom

Revelation 20:1–10 are probably the most difficult and controversial verses in the book. Yet, despite the difficulties, the basic message is clear.

Satan is bound—and loosed. A mighty angel binds Satan. Have you listened to an orchestra play a symphony? In some ways, the Book of Revelation is similar. The introductory notes of the symphony may contain a musical theme that is picked up, repeated, modified, and which may become a central theme in the musical piece. Suffering Christians have been reassured repeatedly that the righteous Judge will set things right. Christ’s coming in judgment has been described repeatedly: Revelation 6:12–17; 8:1–5; 11:15–19; 16:17–20; 18; and 19. Like a movie, which may trace events from various perspectives, John has show you the events at the end of the age. A mighty angel carries out the will of his Lord. In Revelation 1:18, Christ clams to have the keys of death and Hades. This angel has been given the the key to the Abyss. He seizes the dragon, identified as Satan, and imprisons him in the Abyss. Notice that this is not a total imprisonment of Satan. He is still a dangerous enemy. But he is restrained specifically with respect to his ability to deceive the nations. Think of the spiritual darkness that covered the world before the coming of Christ—and the contrast that began with his earthly ministry, his death, resurrection, and his ascension. John has pointed you there in Revelation 12:5. Continue reading “Satan’s Doom”