Wilson Reid - Revelations 20, 21, and 22

I would like to point out that these things written there are after the Judgement Day. We will look together at the verses written in 20:12, where it tells about the Judgement Day. The 11th verse shows us that the old heaven and old earth will pass away. That means that the old heaven and old earth we have now. The Apostle Peter tells us that the old heaven and the old earth shall pass away, but not only Peter tells us that, but the Prophet Isaiah also records that. In Isaiah it says, "Behold I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind.”

Isaiah 65:17. Then in Isaiah 66:22, "'For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before Me,' saith the Lord, 'so shall your seed and name remain.'" That shows us that the new heaven and the new earth shall never pass away; and in Isaiah 65, it shows that the time will come that this present heaven and earth shall be completely forgotten. We might ask why the Lord wanted to bring this present heaven and earth to naught? It is because both have been corrupted through sin. These new bodies will be forever with the Lord, where there will be no more sin, no more grief, for the former things have passed away.

21:7 says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be His God and he shall be My son." Not everyone will be there although God has made it possible for all people to be there. Why won't all be there then? Because not all are willing to serve the Lord, but it says, "He that, overcometh shall inherit all things." Then it speaks of the "fearful," the "unbelieving," etc. They shall have part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Every person that has lived on this earth or is living there now, or will live in the future will have a place in this chapter, either on this new earth with God or in the lake of fire with Satan.

Chapter 20, it speaks for the third time of being cast into the lake of fire. The first are false Christians and false prophets, where we spoke about yesterday, when Christ comes to dwell and reign on this earth, then false men shall be cast into the fire. There will be no false religions during these thousand years. Wouldn't it be foolish to let these religions (false) go on during these thousand years? They have been a hindrance to the Gospel, and as we have said before, the world is full of these kind of people. There will be an end to it then, not on the Judgement Day, but on that Day when Christ comes to reign on the earth. Christ will reign 1000 years on the earth, not by Himself; there will be men and women who will reign with Him. Those are the people we read of in chapter 20.

John speaks of the ones who will reign with Christ; it says they suffered for the testimony of Christ. They were true to Christ and His teachings. They suffered for the Testimony of Jesus and God's Word. That always goes together. There are several places in Revelation that tell us that, and not only that, but those men had not worshiped the beast or his image and have not received his mark in their forehead. They had not worshiped in these false religions, but were true to Christ and His teachings. Those are the ones who will live and reign with Him. It says , "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection when Christ returns to take up His reign for 1,000 years." Then those who have been faithful in the past will be resurrected to reign with Him. This was one of the things that Paul strove for. He said, "If by any means I might obtain the resurrection of the dead." Paul probably felt this was the most important thing to obtain.

We read in Hebrews 11, where men were willing to suffer, willing to be killed; not accepting offered relief if they were willing to deny the faith. They wouldn't give up their faith even if it meant death. They did this to obtain the first resurrection so they could reign with Christ the 1,000 years. You might say then, "What about the people who are still alive, when Christ returns?" All those who have been faithful shall be taken up to meet the Lord in the air. (I Thessalonians 4:15-18) Also you know that Jesus spoke about His Second Coming when He said, "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken and the other left." You will remember the Disciple said, "Where Lord, where will they go?" Jesus did not say any certain place, but gave them to just understand that where He was, there they would be also. Paul mentioned, "Also, shall we be with the Lord." When we receive that new body, we will never be separated from the Lord; where He is, we shall be also.

I am glad that Jesus lived 40 days on earth after His resurrection. When Jesus lived those 33 years on this earth, He had a body like you and me, had a corruptible body, but He never gave in to that corruptible body. When Jesus was resurrected, He had a different body. Outwardly it was the same, it still had the prints of the nails in His hands and the marks on His side, but it was a glorified body wherewith He could go to Heaven. It is the same body wherewith He will return. He lived 40 days on earth in that glorified body. The ones who will reign with Christ will have that kind of body. The ones who will meet Christ in the air will have the old bodies, but will be changed in a moment. The ones who were in the grave rose with new bodies. It shows how necessary it is to be right with God every evening when we go to bed, and every morning when we go to work. Those two men who were in the field thought this day the same as other days, but the one was taken, and one came back. Christ came and the one who was faithful was taken home. The same with the two women grinding in the mill, and the two in the bed; the one who was faithful was taken. This shows us how necessary it is to be right with God every day because we do not know when it will be the last. Some might ask, "Why was one in bed and the other in the field?" The reason is that he who was in the field lived on one side of the earth while it was day, the one in bed on the side of the earth where it was night. This shows us that if we are faithful we will not be forgotten whether we are asleep or whether we are awake.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, the second death will not have power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him 1,000 years. That will be on this old earth. Chapter 20 speaks of this. It says, "Those that will reign with Christ are blessed." We read elsewhere, where it says they will reign on this earth and when the 1,000 years are past Satan will be loosed again. That will be on this old earth. In the beginning of chapter 20, we read how Satan was bound and cast into the bottomless pit, but he didn't change. He was the same when he came out as when he went in. Before he was bound, he was busy deceiving people, but when he was loosed, he did the same thing again - deceived those who were still on the earth. Do you know what he planned to do? He wanted to destroy the work that Christ had done in the hearts of men and women those 1,000 years. Have you ever noticed how many followers Satan got then? He was loosed for a short time - we don't know how long - it could have been a year or ten years but it says a short time. But it was long enough that he got a great many followers. Doesn't that show us how fast Satan works? He gives them all they desire, that's why he gets so many followers. He wanted to destroy the work Christ had done, but there came fire down from heaven that destroyed his followers; and Satan himself was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beasts and false prophets are.

Satan wasn't the first to go into the lake of fire. The first were false Christians and false prophets, the leaders and the preachers in the false religions in the world. They were cast into the lake of fire where those others were already. They are the worst people in God's eyes and also in Jesus' eyes. In His time, it wasn't the publicans and sinners, but Jesus said to the Pharisees, "The publicans and sinners shall enter the Kingdom of God before you." Those Pharisees and leaders were the worst people. When Jesus stood before Pilate, it wasn't the publicans and sinners who were there to accuse Him. It was the Pharisees that were always finding fault with Jesus, when He ate with the publicans and sinners. When Jesus stood in the judgement hall before Pilate, these Pharisees would not enter the judgement hall because they were afraid they would be defiled, because they were going to eat the Passover. They were planning to eat of this lamb which was an emblem of Christ. When Pilate went out to speak to them, he said, "I have two prisoners, Jesus and Barabbas which will ye that I should release?" They said, "Barabbas." Pilate then said, "What shall I do then with Jesus the Christ?" They said, "Let Him be crucified." Pilate said, "Why, what hath He done?" It says the voices of the high priests became more insistent that He be crucified. Those men were the worst sinners on the earth at that time. Their leaders were Ananias and Caiaphas. When Jesus was captured in the garden of Gethsemane, they brought Him to Ananias, the father-in-law of Caiaphas. He was as one might say, the retired high priest. They did it as a kind of honour to bring Him to Ananias. He sent Him back to his son-in-law, Caiaphas. When Jesus spoke later to Pilate, He said, "The one who delivered Me unto you had the greater sin. " The one who had the greater sin was Caiaphas, the high priest. He was the greater sinner in God's eyes. There were four men who were the principal ones in Christ's crucifixion: two were leaders of the false religions and two were leaders of the worldly powers.

When Jesus returns, these two powers will still be there. They crucified Jesus, but when He returns, they will get their punishment. The leaders of the false religions will be cast into the lake of fire. Herod and Pilate will also get their dues. It says the kings of the earth and their armies were killed with the sword of the One who sat on the white horse. This sword came out of his mouth, and then the birds of the air were filled with their flesh.

I would like to say something about Revelations 21:8. The first mentioned are the fearful and unbelieving. Those fearful were not unbelieving; if they were, it would have included them in the unbelieving. Who were they then? They were men who have heard the Gospel and also their choice is to serve the Lord, but afraid to make it known that they wanted to serve the Lord. They didn't have the courage to confess Christ; they were overcome with fear. Maybe because of what friends would say? Some are afraid it might cost them their jobs. There was a man in Scotland who said if he would serve the Lord it would mean giving up his business. If he had a dishonest business, he would be better off without it. Many people are overcome with fear. Jesus said to His Disciples, "Don't fear him who can kill the body, but can't hurt the soul, but rather fear Him who can cast both body and soul into hell." These are the first on the list to be cast into the lake of fire, the fearful, not the murderers. What was their sin? Exactly the same as the sin I am going to tell you about now. You will remember that the Lord told Moses that he should lead the armies of Israel into battle. You must lead them where they can see the enemy in the trenches. Let it be known in the army that those that are fearful can turn back. Don't take the ones who are afraid along in the battle, because they will lose heart and will also cause the others to lose heart or give up. This was the sin the fearful were guilty of. If they had not been fearful when they had heard the Gospel, to obey it, then probably others would have been saved too. But because they didn't obey, the hearts of others became fearful too, and were lost which otherwise might have been saved. We may think there are not many people like that, but the Bible tells us there are.

You will remember what it tells us about Gideon. When the Midianites entered the land like grasshoppers in many numbers, the Lord said, "Blow the trumpet and let Israel be gathered together" - 32,000 men gathered together that night. The Lord said to Gideon, "All these men aren't the right kind." He said to make it known that all who are fearful are to turn back. Do you know how many turned back? There were 22,000 that were fearful; and only 10,000 who were not afraid. It is still the same today. Many listen to the Gospel and believe it, and then are afraid to make their choice because of the consequences. That is the sin they are guilty of, and they make others afraid also. Like as we heard yesterday, we must add courage to our faith and not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for He said, "He that is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man shall be ashamed of him also."

Now I want to tell you something else. John told us of different things he saw, and they were told in order. There are people in the world that write religious books and they confuse the order of God. I remember a conversation I had with a religious woman in England. I spoke about these things. She said, "You haven't got it in order." I said, "That is the way God has given it to us in His word. I don't think God makes any mistakes in His word. When I read these things, I am sure it is right." The first time the three words, "and I saw," appear in 19:11. That is the time when Christ returns to the earth, "And I saw the Heavens opened" - verses 11-15. In the last part of verse 15, "He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and the wrath of the Almighty God." That is the time when the wrath of God will be preached. When Jesus was on earth, after He started to preach, on a certain day He stood up to read in the synagogue and He read from Isaiah, "The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, etc." He read on until He came to the words "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." He stopped there. If He had read further it would say, "and the wrath of our God." He didn't read that part because He didn't come to preach the wrath of God when He came to the earth the first time; but when He returns, it will be the day of the wrath of God. That is why it says, "He treadeth the winepress of the wrath of God" and He hath on His vesture and on His thigh written, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." This is the King of Kings, Jesus. Next time the words "and I saw" are mentioned in verse 17, "And I saw an angel standing in the sun," Verse 18, "There will be great slaughter. " That will be Armageddon, where all the people of the earth will be gathered together. In another part of Revelation, it tells of three woes. When the second is spoken of, it says that a third part of the people shall be killed. When the third woe cometh, the kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of God. That will be a woe for the worldly, but a day of rejoicing for God's people. It will be a day when the people of the world will say to the hills and the rocks "Fallon us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the Throne and from the wrath of the Lamb."

In the 19th verse it says again, "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together." Why? To make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. They won't welcome Jesus gladly; they are going to do all they possibly can to hinder Him. Satan hasn't changed, and he still wants to destroy the works of Christ. In 20:1, we read again "And I saw", and also in verses 4,11,12, and in 21:8.

In 1:3, we read, "Blessed is he that readeth." That always encourages me to read the Book of Revelation. I can't say that I made haste to speak anything about Revelation right away. I read it until I could memorize it, but I didn't think to speak from it often. I can remember the first time I tried to speak from Revelation 21. It was at a Convention at Bloemfontein in South Africa in 1911. The only verse I could say anything about was that verse which says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Once in a while I would mention Revelation, but I always waited until things were plain to me before I dared to speak with others about it. It has become very clear to me in heart and thought.

All these different things that we now have spoken about shall come to pass and Christ shall return with vengeance on the people of the world. The false prophets shall be humbled and Christ shall be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan will be bound and the faithful and true people of God shall reign with Christ for 1,000 years. Then Satan will be loosed a little while, and shortly afterward will be the Judgement Day. Then the present Heaven and earth will pass away, and the Lord will create a new Heaven and a new earth, and on this new earth, He will dwell with His people. There will be no more death there, and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and we will not have a corruptible body any more to strive against.

Do you know what is my hardest battle? It is the battle with myself. Maybe you think you are so old already, you don't have much to fight any more. You have served the Lord over 50 years already; why should you still have battles? We have often spoken about Abraham and others. The older they got, the harder the temptations and trials became. Isn't it reasonable that it would become harder towards the end than at the beginning? In the beginning, we are like babes and we don't expect newborn babes to strive against the same things as men and women. You know Paul said, "When I became a man, I put away childish things." So when we begin to walk in God's Way as a little child and grow up as men and women, then the Lord expects more of us. This battle will not end until this body dies. I am glad that God has made it possible that when these bodies die and return to the dust from whence they came, that God will give us new bodies even as we have told you. Read these chapters for yourself and take notice of the different places that it mentions these words, "and I saw" - things that John saw. The one followed the other until the Judgement Day. After the Judgement Day, we see the new Heaven and the new earth, where God will dwell with His people.

I would like to speak to you about the first 8 verses of Revelations 21. You can open your Bible while I read these verses. We have over 1100 chapters in the Bible, but only 2 chapters which tell us about things that will happen after the judgement day, and that is in Revelations 21. The first sin we read of was not committed on earth. It was committed by fallen angels of whom Satan was the heir or leader, and was committed in Heaven. We read that the devil was cast out of Heaven and his angels with him. There were many angels in heaven on Satan's side; and because the present Heaven was soiled or tainted by sin, therefore the Lord will create a new Heaven. I believe from my heart that this new Heaven will be the everlasting dwelling place of the angels that will remain faithful. It is to be understood that the Lord will give these angels a new, pure heaven to dwell in, even as He will give His people a new earth to dwell in and it is upon this new earth that Christ will dwell with His people, that we read about it in Revelation 20.

As we already mentioned, this old heaven will pass away on the Judgement Day. This old earth will have to be here until the judgement day. It will be necessary because Christ will reign the thousand years on it, then after that Satan will be loosed again for a season when those thousand years are past. After that, this old world won't be needed any more and therefore will pass away and then the Lord will create the new Heaven and the new earth. The God who created the old Heaven and the old earth can also create the new. What God plans to do is to gather together a people on this old earth to dwell with Him on the new earth. From the beginning of creation, God has been working thus. God began this work already in the life of Abel; and from then on, He has been working in the hearts of men who are willing to make a start to live for Him, and to serve Him. God helps them to become new creatures in Christ because He wants to make them ready to dwell with Him on this new earth. In this chapter are 6 words that are very important; these are the words --"Behold I make all things new." After God had spoken these words, He said to John, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." When something is very important to us and we don't want to forget it, we write it down. This is something the Lord doesn't want us to forget. It is the new Heaven and the new Earth, and the New Jerusalem, and the Lord says; "If you want to dwell there, then you must allow Me to make you a new man in Christ." That is why He told John to write down these words.

It seems to me this was the last message God gave to mankind, a very important warning because I am certain all people will not allow God to make them a new being and therefore they can never dwell with Him. If I look back on my life, I can see very plainly that I wasn't fit to dwell with the Lord. I don't say that I am perfect now. When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he said, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after that I may apprehend or grasp, etc." I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." This is what we must strive after or aim for. God's work finds place in this world. It is not after we die that God will do His work, it is while we are still alive.

Something that came to pass in the Old Testament came to my mind. When Solomon built the Temple, there was no hammer nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in the building. One would say, "How was it possible?" Because David had prepared the material beforehand. It says he prepared for it with all his heart and mind. David had desired with all his heart to build the Temple, but God had sent Nathan to tell him that he was not to build it, but his son Solomon. David made preparations for it with all his might, and therefore Solomon could build the Temple without chisel being used on the stones. There was another thought that spoke to me. It says when David prepared those stones for the temple, that he didn't let the people of Israel do it, but the strangers of the land. God also used the strangers or unsaved people to prepare us. Sometimes people think they could live in a place where all the people were Christians, then everything would be perfect, but that would be the worst place for us. The best place for us to live is amongst the worldly people. Those are the ones God uses to make us ready or prepared. They can use the hammer and chisel on us, and we must bear it calmly and humbly. If some of our brothers and sisters would do that, we might resent it and lose the victory, but we bear it from the unsaved. That is the way that God makes His people ready so that we can be a light and a help to the unsaved people. God has planned it so, that we should be a blessing to those yet without Christ. As we said before, it is during our life here that God prepares us as stones for that heavenly temple, and when that is built we will all fit in place perfectly.

Now John speaks of a new Heaven and a new earth which shall be after the Judgement Day, and those that will dwell on that new earth are those whose names are written in the book of life. Those who are not born again will not be there Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, ye must be born again, and unless you are born again ye cannot enter the Kingdom of God." When children are born into the natural family, their names are registered in the books of this world, and when people are born again, their names are registered in Heaven and confessed in Heaven by Jesus. He said, "I will confess their names before My Father and all holy angels." Another thought I would like to express about this new earth is that there will be no more sea. On this present world where we live, there is more sea than land. We probably wonder why God created it thus. Why did the Lord make a large piece of land here and there and have sea between? The sea rescued the generations. If the earth had been all land there and here, the people would have killed each other, and God saw that it was good to scatter the people here and there over the earth. You know what happened in England during the last war and what saved them? 21 miles of sea between France and England. If it had been all land, the tanks of Hitler would have come there just as they did in France and Holland. Satan causes people to make war and strife with each other. There will be none of that on this new earth - no quarreling, etc. It will not be necessary to keep them apart. Anyone who likes to quarrel and fight will not be there. If you are busy having friction in your little church or with your neighbours, don't do this anymore, because it will be a hindrance in preparing for that new earth; and also you will be no help to others. There will be no sea on this new earth.

John said, "I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." That was God's people - a prepared people. A bride just doesn't put on any old dress, but a very special dress, and takes very special pains to look fit and attractive. That is how God's people must be - prepared as a bride. It says she came down from heaven. That shows that she was in Heaven. When our bodies die here, the spirits leave our bodies, then that spirit returns to God from whence it came. God has made it possible for the spirit to dwell with Him until the appointed time comes. God has not made it possible for our bodies to be in Heaven. These bodies cannot dwell there. God has never planned that they should be there. God's plan is that our mortal bodies shall return to the dust when our spirits depart from our bodies. The grave is the place God intends for our bodies. In this life as we all know, people are more concerned about their bodies than their spirits.

The Bible mentions spirit, soul, and body. The spirit is the most important to the Lord because it is the spirit that returns to God. You will remember that Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Therefore to God, the spirit is the principle thing, but to people, it is the body. Just consider how people fix up and dress; they will look in their mirrors, and how anxious they are about their looks. Just look in the stores and see all the preparations made for our outward appearances, and according to the latest styles. How much care is given to the bodies and so little to the spirits - the spirit which is so important. The time will come when these spirits will leave Heaven and come to dwell on this new earth where God will dwell with His people. In this third verse it says, "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people." It doesn't say that the tabernacle will be with the angels. The angels stay in heaven and God comes to the new earth to dwell with His people. It says that God will be their God and wipe all tears from their eyes. Doesn't that show that there are tears on this earth? It has often caused tears to do His will. There will be no more tears then, when we are on this new earth, for we will have new bodies that will never die anymore.

*** Wilson Reid died in Africa in his 87th year.