The Third Age of Mankind (Rev 20:1-15)
WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – The Bible records four ages of mankind – four times when God started or re-started the human race. Each time He began with only good, godly people. And each time except the fourth and final one (discussed in the next two chapters of Revelation), that goodness didn’t last long.
The first age of humanity is recorded in Genesis 1-7. It began with Adam and Eve, included the fall into sin and the spreading of sinfulness, and ended with the drowning of the entire evil race except for the one righteous man on earth, Noah, and his immediate family.
The second age, the one in which we now live, is described in Genesis 8 through Revelation 19. God started over with Noah’s family of ten. This age included the repopulation of the planet mainly with people who rejected their Creator’s authority and rebuffed His offers of redemption. It will end at the Battle of Armageddon when all the forces of evil will be defeated, the beast and false prophet thrown into the lake of fire, and all their human followers slain (Rev 16-19).
The third age of mankind is yet to come. All we know about this era is from John’s vision of it in Revelation 20. At its start, the only people alive will be the relative few who refused to oppose Christ at Armageddon. For 1,000 years, Satan’s influence will be eliminated, and Jesus will rule the world in person.
Despite all that, when Satan is released “for a short time” (Rev 20:3) at the end of this period, he will find most of humanity ready to be deceived yet again. This era concludes with the final and permanent removal of all evil, both demonic and human. Here’s what God showed John about this third age:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven … He seized … Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the abyss, closed it … so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the thousand years were completed.… Those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus … came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years … they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations … to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They … surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire …
Then I saw a great white throne … I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne … and the dead were judged according to their works … And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:1-15).
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – A Biblical overview of human history provides us with several insights that can guide our daily lives:
- God loves new beginnings. He’s ready to take the parts of you willing to follow Him and start afresh. – Be willing!
- Satan fools most people most of the time. – Be warned!
- There are always a few who remain faithful – Be one of them!
- One day, all influences toward evil, both Satanic and human, will be removed. – Be encouraged!