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 Sermon on Revelation 20

The Millennium

By Brian Pepper

There are a great many people in the world today who would give anything to be able to read the future. How often people have said to me, "If I could only know what the future holds; If I could only catch a glimpse of what lies ahead." If people would only read their Bibles! Why God has revealed to man the events to take place for over a thousand years in the future.

1000 Years of Heaven

In the prophetic book of Revelation St John has recorded an amazing prophecy which is found in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

When Jesus shall come to gather His people; when the great trumpet is blown; all those who have died in Christ will come forth to eternal life and then they are taken home to heaven.

Jesus said in John 14:2,3, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Verse 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself…” 

So you see there is a thousand years of joy and happiness in the future for God's people.

Why Only 1000 Years?

However I am sure that some of you will be thinking "I thought we are going to live forever? What do you mean by a thousand years?" That is true! We will live forever. Why a 1000 years?

Well, let us take a look at what the Scripture says about it. When does it start? What will happen at the end of it? 

We will turn to Jeremiah 25:31-33. “A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.
Verse 32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
Verse 33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” 

How did things come to this terrible state? Nobody left to mourn or bury the dead?

The Earth Desolate and Made Waste

Isaiah gives us a picture of what takes place at this time. “Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” (Isaiah 24:1)

It is a desolate picture. The earth is to be emptied; made waste.

Verse 3 says, "The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.” 

Isaiah 24:19,20 say, “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
Verse 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage....” 

The Great Earthquake

This is a picture of desolation and ruin. Did you notice that the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard? Have you wondered what that means? It is the great earthquake that takes place at the coming of the LORD.

Isaiah 2:19 says, "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” 

Being a New Zealander I know something about earthquakes. As long as I live I will never forget the terrible Napier - Hastings earthquake (of 1932). There was a deadly hush, an uncanny stillness; not a sound from bird or beast; when suddenly it seemed as if the earth had gone mad. The building that I was in began to sway back and forth with ever increasing rapidity. How I got out I do not know, but I did and as I tried to stand erect I saw the great clock come crashing down. The bell rang once or twice as it fell. Great cracks opened in the roads and cars and their occupants were swallowed up and buried alive as the ground closed up again. That was terrible, but I want you to read a description of the greatest earthquake this world will ever know.

Revelation 16:18 says, “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” 

Now notice verse 20, "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” 

Did you know that in Japan, in 2 minutes 250,000 people died from an earthquake? But when God shakes this earth like it has never been shaken before I could not even guess what the death toll will be.

Heavens Departed as a Scroll  

Now here is another picture of the events that take place at this time.

Revelation 6:14-17 says, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Verse 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Verse 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Verse 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” 

I tell you that all people are thinking about today is money, or their friends, or success. But Ezekiel 7:19 tells us that they will cast their money into the streets and gutters. Money won’t be worth anything in that day.  However we must move on, as we look at these great final events.

The Second Coming 

Matthew 24:30,31 says, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Verse 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” 

To those who have despised the truth; To those who have rejected the Christ; To those who have scorned the warnings of God; this day will be a day of terror. But to God’s people it will be the greatest day of their lives. This is the day that will mark the beginning of the 1000 years. 

St Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Verse 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

What a glorious day for the people of God! What rejoicing as the angels gather those precious souls up to meet Jesus. It will be joy unutterable. But it will be a very sad day for those who have despised the salvation of God. St Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 that they will be destroyed by the very brightness of His coming.

The picture is clear. The people of God are in heaven enjoying the wonders of the celestial land. That is what Jesus told us in John 14 for HE said “ I will come again” so that My People can be with Me in heaven. 

The 1st Resurrection

Now notice another vision that St John witnessed in Revelation 7:9. "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” 

A great multitude of the Redeemed standing before the throne and praising God. That is why it says in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” 

The Earth Empty

This means that there is no one living on this earth for 1000 years. The Earth is depopulated, and that agrees with what God says in Jeremiah 4:23-25. “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
Verse 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
Verse 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.”
Verse 26 "I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.”

It seems very positive from this that he old Earth is a very empty place at this time. We are told that the Lord maketh the Earth emply. He makes it waste. There is no man. The birds are all gone; the cities are all broken down. It is a picture of desolation and emptiness.

Satan Bound for 1000 Years 

However St John goes on to describe another remarkable happening. Revelation 20:1-3 says, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Verse 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Verse 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” 

There are some people who say that the devil was bound in 1914. If that were the case I would not like to be around when he does get loose. Since 1914 we have had nothing but wars, calamities and catastrophes on a major scale.

The bottomless pit is a description of the Earth after the terrible earthquake. In the beginning of this world we are told that it was without form and void. So during this time it reverts to its original condition.

Satan is bound for 1000 years. He is bound by circumstances for there is no one to tempt.

Satan Reflects for 1000 Years

He is able to review his past triumphs. He thinks of those whom he deceived into thinking that the greatest quest of life was the search for wealth. Then of those whom he deceived into thinking that all that was necessary to gain eternal life was to live a good life. There was no need for taking a definite stand for Jesus Christ.  

But the greatest majority of those who were lost and damned were those who said “God is not particular, He is not fussy. He cannot expect us to do everything He asks us to do."

As Satan reviews his conquests and thinks of the Great Multitude that he has deceived he fills with pride.

But a 1000 years is a long time. No matter how successful he may have been in the past, his work is at a standstill during this time There is plenty of time for reflection. However we must move on.

Resurrection of the Damned 

A remarkable thing is to happen at the end of the 1000 years; the dead, that is all those who have died in sin, they are going to be raised again. Jesus mentions it in John 5:29. He calls it the resurrection of damnation. Daniel calls it the resurrection of shame in Daniel 12:2. Paul speaks of it as the resurrection of the unjust (Acts 24:15). Revelation 20:5 says, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Modern versions of the Bible: "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. 

The resurrection of the damned is not a very pleasant thing. As the wicked went into their graves so they are raised. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The people of God were clothed with immortal youth and beauty, but the wicked bear the traces of diseases and death. Their faces are cruel and hard just as they were before death.

Satan Deceives the Wicked

Satan has no difficulty in deceiving the wicked. Revelation 20:7,8 says, "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Verse 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” 

 The wicked are raised, so naturally Satan is loosed to deceive them. There will be billions of them.

A lot of people have the idea that if you are with the majority then you are sure to be right. But I tell you it will be bad to be with the majority on that day.

New Jerusalem Coming Down from Heaven  

St John sees another great event take place. He saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. 

Revelation 21:2,3 says, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Verse 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” 

The beautiful Holy City, the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to become the capital of the universe, right here on this earth. We are even told where it will be situated. In Zechariah 14:3,4 it says that the Mount of Olives will split in two and form a great valley and there will stand the great city.

The Final Deception

As Satan and his evil host look at the great city, they decide that this is their last chance. They must take the city.

Revelation 20:8,9 says, “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Verse 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about…” 

Satan prepares for the last mighty struggle for supremacy.

During the 1000 years he was shorn of his power. But now as he sees that the wicked are raised, the prince of evil sees a vast multitude on his side. He determines that he is going to win this final battle. The wicked are his captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the great rebel. They are ready to do his bidding.

Did you notice that the Scripture says that "He shall go out to deceive the nations.” It is apparent that they are unaware of his true identity. He pretends that he is the prince of this world and possibly assures them that through his power they were brought forth from the graves. As they see the great numbers on their side, and then compare the number of those inside the Holy City. They are greatly encouraged.

Assault on the New Jerusalem

They begin to lay plans for the assault on the New Jerusalem. Famous military leaders of the past organize them into an army.

When all is ready the march towards the city begins. Satan is in the lead followed by his angels, then kings and great men close behind. The armies of Satan surround the city.

Appearance of Christ

Suddenly Christ appears to the view of His enemies. Revelation 20:11 says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” 

As the wicked host are ready to make their attack on the celestial city they are suddenly paralyzed by a scene of indescribable glory.

Panoramic View of the Great Controversy

As one inspired writer pictures the scene in these words, "Far above the city, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up. Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom. The power and majesty of Christ no language can describe, no pen portray. Above the throne is revealed the cross and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam's temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption...." 

Yes, like a great motion picture is revealed the scenes of the great Controversy between Christ and Satan. Everyone is conscious of their guilt. All those who down the streams of time have rejected Christ, who have openly defied Him now see the coronation of Christ take place.

It is at this time, is fulfilled what is written in Philippians 2:10,11; “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Verse 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, but from wicked it will come grudgingly for a while. The wicked are petrified and powerless to move, but filled with frenzy Satan makes his last desperate effort. He rushes into the midst of his subjects and arouses them to battle. The final curtain is drawn.

End of the Millennium

It says that "Fire comes down from God out of heaven and devoured them." Revelation 20:9 last half.

Satan and his host are no more. Satan’s work is forever ended. Now God’s people are delivered from his temptations. A mighty shout goes up from the redeemed of God saying, “…Alleluia for the LORD GOD omnipotent reigneth.”


The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries

  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.


  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.


  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.


Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert (USA) ... more testimonials.



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