Revelation, chapters 20-22

“Now as soon as the 1,000 years have ended, Satan will be released from his prison, and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Maʹgog, to gather them together for the war.”
~Revelation 20:7,8

If nationalist divisions are done away with during Christ’s millennial reign, where do the nations comprising “Gog and Magog” come from? (Dan. 2:44; 7:13,14)
The “Gog and Magog” referred to in this passage is apparently different from the one in Ezekiel’s prophecy. (Eze. ch. 38 & 39)
Ezekiel’s prophecy seems to take place before Armageddon, in an attack headed by a coalition of nations otherwise known as “the wild beast” and the “false prophet.” (Rev. 16:13,14; 17:12-14)
But in John’s “Gog” prophecy, the wild beast has already been destroyed, and the one directly misleading the nations is Satan. (Rev. 20:10)
One way to explain there being nations ready to war against God at the end of Christ’s reign is to draw the conclusion that not all will accept God’s authority.
Satan, infuriated, will lure some away from God, influencing them to form new groups, like nations, that rule themselves and reject God’s heavenly king.
In this case, “Gog and Magog” is alluding to the original attack on God’s people before Armageddon, but literally refers to a second attack before a second, final war with God.
While this makes sense within the framework of our current understanding of these prophecies, it brings up another set of questions.
Why doesn’t John’s account have a more easily identifiable parallel account to that of Ezekiel’s?
What about Jeremiah’s parallel account? (Jer. 25:29-38)
Can it be referring to the first attack or the second?
Not all the prophets’ accounts about the last days cover the same details, and the details in Revelation are not in chronological order, so one can imagine the prophecies unfolding in different ways.
If I go out on an analytical limb here and imagine that both prophets’ Gog of/and Magog references occur at the end of the thousand-year reign, then I am forced to ask myself the same thing about Armageddon and the second, final war.
But at the end of chapter 19, the wild beast and false prophet are being destroyed as a result of Armageddon. (Rev. 19:15,19,20)
Satan is not destroyed then, but tied up for a thousand years, and then released. (Rev. 20:1-3)
This means that there undoubtedly is a second, final war, which lends support to the explanation that John’s “Gog and Magog” is a second attack, similar in nature to the first.


A work friend once asked me a question about what the Bible says on human suffering.
I replied, “I would need more than five minutes to explain it.”
Whenever I felt discouraged from studying or writing, I remembered that conversation and felt renewed commitment to this project.
Thank you to all my subscribers and casual readers over the last few years.
Because of you and God’s spirit I have been able to endure and strengthen my faith.
I did not intend this project to go on indefinitely.
That said, I am really looking forward to reading the newly translated Spanish New World Translation and sharing notes on that in Spanish on a future sister page.
There are parts of the Bible that beg more attention of me than others, and I hope to continue sharing insights from my personal study here on my own schedule.

Revelation, chapters 13-16

“Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.”
~Revelation 14:13

Amidst so many judgments relative to the imminent destruction of the wicked, there is this passage of hope reminding us that Jehovah never forgets what we do for him. (Heb. 6:10) While here it is speaking specifically of the “holy ones” who will reign with Christ in heaven, we can be sure that anyone making sincere sacrifices in God’s name does not go unappreciated. (Mal. 3:16; Rev. 13:10; 14:12)

Revelation, chapters 7-9

“[…] A great star burning like a lamp fell from heaven, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is Wormwood.”
~Revelation 8:10,11

“And I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and the key to the shaft of the abyss was given to him.”
~Revelation 9:1

Is the star representing the same thing or spirit in both passages?
There are so many “star” references in Revelation that it comes in handy to have a list of how the word is used in other Bible passages.

Revelation continues the sequence of events by calling Jesus “Apollyon,” which means Destroyer. (Rev. 9:11)
Wormwood represents bitterness, and a message of destruction would be bitter to those about to be destroyed.
So at the risk of being completely wrong, it seems logical to me to infer that the stars in both passages refer to Jesus.
We can also take into account a parallel passage which explains that the rivers and springs became the blood of the holy ones and prophets being poured out in God’s anger. (Rev. 15:7; 16:1,4)
It is common to equate bitterness with anger.
It does not seem that God would use a demon to execute an act of justice, but rather, he would use Jesus, as he usually does.
Additionally, the passage goes on to say a third of the sun, moon and stars were darkened, that neither the day nor night might have any light in them. (Rev. 8:12)
This is obviously symbolic because a literal application would wipe out life as we know it.
But this symbolism is in stark contrast to the star that burns like a lamp in its descent.
The passage seems to compare Christ’s enlightened message denouncing those who have persecuted God’s people with the spiritual darkness that they now find themselves in.

Revelation, chapters 3-6

“[…] I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered […]. A white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.”
~Revelation 6:9,11

After the four horsemen account, this passage says there are “souls” shouting out for justice. (Rev. 6:10)
God’s Word explains that someone’s soul, or person, is in their blood. (Lev. 17:11)
The imagery of a person’s blood calling for justice is not new. (Gen. 4:10)
And Christians who died before Christ’s second coming were actually dead and not lingering in some sort of afterlife. (1 Thess. 4:15,16)
If the “souls” shouting out for justice are representative of Christians’ shed blood, in what sense are they given white robes?
This chapter begins by dynamically describing Christ’s coronation and subsequent catastrophic events on earth. (Rev. 6:2-8)
Between then and the ‘number of fellow slaves being filled,’ there was a moment in which dead Christians who were meant to rule with Christ in heaven were raised and each granted a white robe.
They have been resurrected to immortality and the white robes symbolize their righteous acts. (Rev. 3:5; 19:8)
They “rest” in the sense that they must patiently wait for God’s judgment day before being allowed to avenge their deaths. (Rev. 7:3,4; Rev. 17:14)
So while initially the word “souls” represents the shed blood of loyal Christians, halfway through the passage it is referring to their resurrected selves.

1 Peter, chapters 3-5

“Assign [wives] honor […], in order for your prayers not to be hindered.”
~1 Peter 3:7

What does the word honor convey in this passage? How can wives expect to be treated by their Christian husbands?
A similar form of the Greek word “timé” (honor, precious) is used to denote the appreciation we should have towards our faith in Christ. (1 Pet. 2:7)
It is also used to describe the praise Jesus received from his heavenly father. (2 Pet. 1:17)
We can understand, then, that Peter’s advice to husbands is to proactively cherish their wives in private and in public.
God’s Word encourages us to take the lead in showing honor towards others. (Rom. 12:10) Therefore, if a wife has to ask her husband for respect, consideration or praise, the honor has already lost part of its value.
Moreover, depending on upbringing and cultural expectations, she may need courage to make her opinions known to him.
A man who honors his wife values her opinions and consults with her about daily activities and more serious decisions. (Prov. 15:22)
It is an honor that is due to her because of her role as wife, and is not granted as a favor to her.
A man who thus elevates his wife finds favor in Jehovah’s eyes. (Eph. 5:28-33)

1 Peter, chapters 1 & 2

“[…] ‘No one exercising faith in it will ever be disappointed.’ It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers […].”
~1 Peter 2:6,7

Jesus’ teachings, way of life and role as messiah were rejected by most of his contemporaries. (Luke 20:13-17; 23:18-23)
Today, many Christians endure ridicule or persecution from their families, classmates or coworkers, neighbors or from government agencies for trying to follow in Christ’s footsteps. (1 Pet. 2:21)
If others look down on us or despise our God-centered lifestyle, we can remain joyful if we hold on fast to our hope in God’s appointed king. (1 Pet. 1:6,7,24,25)
May we never disregard the value of our ministry.

Hebrews, chapters 9 & 10

“For you need endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the fulfillment of the promise.”
~Hebrews 10:36

The work “Insight on the Scriptures” explains that “endurance” in ancient Greek means to “stand one’s ground; persevere; remain steadfast,” and “not lose hope in the face of obstacles.”
Jesus had to wait patiently to receive his heavenly blessings after sacrificing his life, and we do well to imitate his patient attitude. (Heb. 10:12,13)
He taught that what we do towards the end of our Christian ministry counts for more than what we did at the start. (Matt. 24:13; Luke 21:19)
We demonstrate endurance when we look for strength in God’s Word and through prayer, instead of looking for quick and easy short-term solutions to our problems. (Rom. 15:4,5; Jas. 1:5)
We can then face problems with a positive attitude, knowing that without them, we would not have had a chance to demonstrate our faith/hone our Christian qualities. (Rom. 5:3-5; Jas. 1:2-4)
Though God’s promises might sometimes feel like they are too far off, endurance helps us remember that they “will not delay.” (Heb. 10:37)

1 Thessalonians, chapters 1-5

“[…] Just as you are in fact walking, we request you and appeal to you by the Lord Jesus to keep doing it more fully.”
1 Thessalonians 4:1

The members of the Christian congregation in Thessalonica were not perfect.
They had moral standards and love, but could improve on both counts. (1 Thess. 4:3,4,9,10)
That is why Paul commended them while tactfully encouraging them to “pursue what is good toward one another.” (1 Thess. 5:15)
Regardless of how long it has been since we became Christians, ‘making sure of all things’ and ‘holding fast to what is fine’ is something we have to remember to do every day. (1 Thess. 5:4,6,8,21)
We cannot afford to take our faith for granted, and as long as we are imperfect, there will be things we can improve on.

Philippians, chapters 1-4

“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:6,7

If this is one of the verses I’ve cited most from the Bible, it is because I often need to remind myself of this.
Jehovah does not expect us to never be anxious, but he does expect us to rely on him through our trials. (1 Pet. 5:7)
He promises to be there for us, either by providing strength to endure or by showing us the solution. (1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 4:7-9; 2 Pet. 2:9)
Jehovah often answers our prayers in ways which we could never have even imagined. (Eph. 3:20)
If we look to him for comfort, his training will make us stronger and ‘firmly ground us’ in the faith. (1 Pet. 5:10)

Ephesians, chapters 1-3

“Now to the one who can, according to his power that is operating in us, do more than superabundantly beyond all the things we ask or conceive, to him be the glory by means of the congregation and by means of Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”
~Ephesians 3:20,21

Many people who consider themselves to be Christians seem to have an unclear understanding of Christ’s role in the divine arrangement.
The Bible clearly states that Jehovah and Jesus are two distinct beings. (Deut. 6:4; John 14:28; Acts 7:55,56; Rev. 1:1)
Jesus’ purpose is to do his father’s will. (John 4:34)
They are “one” only in the sense that they are a team. (Matt. 26:39; John 8:17,18; John 17:1-3)
But literally they are two individuals.
All the glory belongs to Jehovah by means of Christ. (Prov. 8:22-31; 1 Cor. 15:27,28; Col. 1:13-20)
If something belongs to someone by means of someone else, they cannot possibly be the same person.
By recognizing Jesus’ role of mediator, we are valuing his self-sacrifice in devoting himself to doing his father’s will and addressing all glory to Jehovah. (1 Tim. 2:5,6)