REVELATION CHAPTER TWENTY
CHAPTER TWENTY PREFACE
We have now arrived at Revelation 20, and we've come a long way since Revelation 1; we've covered a great deal of "Bible." As it has been said before, the Book of Revelation is the key to the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is the key to the New Testament. If a man has Revelation down, he will not have too much trouble with the rest of the Bible. The Book of Revelation itself opens so much of the scripture that it is a pitiful thing to compare it with the amount that professors and teachers "open," who do not believe the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 19 brings us to the end of this age, and a new age starts which we call the "Millennium" (Mil = 1000; annum = yearly); this is the 1000 - year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. Then events rapidly come to a conclusion, and then in Revelation 21, eternity begins. This is the "consummation of all things." This is the culmination of the events that began when Jesus Christ came to this earth (Acts 3:19-21). From here on - Revelation 20, 21, and 22 - the final events upon this earth take place: the Millennium (called the "Age to Come"), and then eternity (called the "Ages of the Ages"), which follows the Millennium.
The plan is so great, and is portrayed with such grandeur, that it almost takes our breath away when we consider it. It staggers the human mind! (Alvin McLean wrote a book called "The Greatness of the Kingdom." Erich Sauer has written a new book on the kingdom. Yet these men did not grasp the basic, essential teaching of the truth in regard to the kingdom. They spent most of their time coming up to the Millennium, and then slamming the gate shut at the Millennium, and giving only a few closing remarks on Revelation 21 and 22. The greatest and most glorious events of "the Kingdom" take place after the Millennium is over.)
By misplacement of text (placing Revelation 21 and 22 back in the Millennium), several well known Bible scholars have cut themselves off from a tremendous amount of truth. This is largely due to the fact that all these men believed in salvation by grace only, which is true in this age, but none of them were able to believe that works would ever figure in anybody's salvation. Because of this, when they got to Revelation 22 (and found definite passages that deal with works in connection with salvation), the passages were relegated back into the Millennium and "spiritualized." But the passages belong in eternity, as we will see when we get to the verses themselves.
Revelation 20:1 - And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Dummelow's one volume "commentary" says that "chain" is not literal. But the Bible is always very careful about definition of terms, and notice that this "chain" is defined in another epistle.
2 Peter 2:4 - "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
Notice that God has more than one kind of a chain, and He never leaves it up to private interpretation to guess which kind it is. The Holy Spirit always defines His own terms, "scripture with scripture" (1 Corinthians 2:13). (This is one of the blessings of the English Bible.) If God has a spiritual being called "Satan," then He has a kind of chain that He can tie him with. It is a literal chain, but it is not a physical chain. This is the thing that upsets and bothers the Western world. Western philosophers are materialists, and the greatest of them can never get over the stultifying thought that if a thing is literal, it is physical, and if it's not physical, it is "spiritual," in the sense of "spiritualized." This is where the Western mind fails in Bible interpretation. Buddha, Vishnu, Brahma, etc. tangle with it and get something done with it. But the Western mind is so materialistic in its construction (being given the commission to enlarge and spread out - Genesis 9:27), that it cannot conceive of a thing being real unless it is a physical thing. This is the basic mistake made by Pre-Millennial scholars who presume that the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. The words "God" and "heaven" are not identical! The people who believed in the eternity of matter, and the infinite structure of the universe, and identified the universe with God, were the Alexandrian Greek philosophers. From this teaching (that the literal Heaven is God) comes the teaching that the "Kingdom of God" is a literal, visible system of churches, Property, mortgages, deeds, collateral, equity, interest, councils, and Ecumenical groups. This constant confusing of the spiritual with the physical is one of the downfalls of Western Christianity. It cannot conceive of a literal, spiritual being who is not a physical being. When we identify the Kingdom of Heaven with the Kingdom of God, then we are in real trouble because "heaven" is literal and physical, and God is literal but spiritual. Can we see the problem? Jesus Christ has a spiritual body, but it is not a spirit. Jesus said, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." If a man is from Europe or the United States, he just can't get a hold of that thing. It slips him because he is so materialistic.
So when we find a spiritual being like Satan, we find a chain made to fit him. It is a literal chain; but it is not a physical, iron, link chain - which is the only kind that a Westerner can conceive.
Revelation 20:2 - And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
The expression "thousand years" occurs six times in this passage: Revelation 19:2,3,4,5,6, and 7. This is interesting because it shows that there are going to be 6000 years of history before the Devil is bound. This scientific truth brings up some great prophetical truths, which have to do with "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
This earth is going to be here 7000 years, and the seventh period of 1000 years is a time of rest (Isaiah 14:7). God made this earth in six days and rested the seventh (Genesis 2:1). So this earth will have 6000 years of war and bloodshed, and the last 1000 years will be a 1000-year period of rest - "a sabbath of rest." This is the "sabbath of rest" referred to in the Book of Hebrews. Hebrews 3:18 refers to the Canaan rest; Hebrews 4:4 refers to the creation rest; Hebrews 4:9 refers to the Millennium rest,' and the only picture of the believer's rest is Hebrews 4:9,10. (Even this is connected with the believer's rest in the Millennium.)
The Millennium then, is one of the main doctrines in the word of God. The Pre-Millennial system - Jesus Christ coming to set up a 1000-year reign on earth- is the only sane, intelligent, and reasonable approach to the New Testament. Just to make sure we would get it, the Holy Spirit has written "thousand years" six times so we wouldn't miss it (verses 2,3,4,5,6,7). Many scholars say that this passage is not to be taken literally, and that brings up an interesting problem in fidelity to the word of God. If it's not literal, why did God say it six times?
The "commentaries" say that it just indicates an "indefinite period of time." Really? If it does indicate an "indefinite period of time," when did that time begin?
The Roman popes and Calvin say that it began at the first coming of Christ. Did it really? But the passage says that Satan is bound for this whole "indefinite period of time," so how do we account for the fact that he has been loose for this "indefinite period of time" and is gaining momentum by the minute (see Revelation 13)? It is not an "indefinite period of time." The Post-Millennialists teach that things are getting better and man is going to bring in a 1000-year period of perfect peace, and that Christ will return at the end of the 1000 - year period. We can observe the so called "River" theology that seems to be sweeping through the country that is trying with all their might to join churches together regardless of what their doctrines are! It seems to be man at work to bring in perfect peace. That's just as fallacious as no Millennium at all, because if man is able to bring in this perfect age, then the Bible must be lying. The Bible says that this age will get worse and that "men shall be lovers of their own selves, coveteous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4). The Bible doesn't picture a rosy future of man getting better and better. It pictures the whole thing as going to pot and Christ coming back to destroy it because of its wickedness. What is wrong then?
If the Southern Baptist Convention is right - the Kingdom of God is going to come "when Christ's kingdom is established in the hearts of everybody." (This is the teaching of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, Article XXV.) Then about two-thirds of the New Testament is a lie! Christ never said it would get any better. He said the tares would grow up even with the wheat, and imitate the wheat. He said that the lump of good dough (Matthew 13:33) would be so corrupted with leaven that when He came back He would hardly be able to find faith on earth (Luke 18:8). He said that the tree would attract demons, not Christians!
The Post-Millennial and A-Millennial systems are nothing but the corrupt theologies of Origen, Augustine, Clement, and Eusebius, filtered through the Roman Catholic Church passed on to a bunch of backslidden Protestants. We have just read in our Bibles about Jesus Christ's coming in Revelation 19, and right away, here is the 1000-year reign showing up in Revelation 20, after His literal, visible return.
Revelation 20:2 is described in Isaiah 14:12-18, with a direct reference to the Devil incarnate as the Antichrist, and an indirect reference to Satan himself.
Revelation 20:3 - 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.
Then this is the "seventh day" Millennial rest spoken of in Genesis 2:1-3, in Hosea 6:2, and in Hebrews 4:9. This is the period that Christ referred to when He said to the disciples:
"A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father" (John 16:16).
The expression "a little while" is used seven times in John 16:16-19, so we will know the period is 7000 years. Christ returns at the beginning of the 7000th year period.
"And after that he must be loosed a little season." For 1000 years the Devil will not be on this earth, or operating in the first, second, or third heaven. For 1000 years Satan's activity will be curtailed to the "bottomless pit," and this earth will be swept clean of demoniac influences, and man will have nothing to deal with but his own fallen nature. There's the catch! Don't be surprised to find that when Satan comes out of the pit, at the end of this passage, he finds allies and collaborators ready to co-operate with him (Isaiah 26:9,10). Even with this wonderful kingdom on earth, even with this wonderful world of nature regenerated (Matthew 19:28), even with everything thoroughly taken care of (Isaiah 11:1-11), and everything glorious, wonderful, and "fixed up," even with Christ on this earth and millions of replicas of Jesus Christ present (the saved sinners from the Church Age), even with the Jews back in Palestine (Ezekiel 44 - 48), even with all these wonderful conditions present, man is left with one thing that will make him be sucker for the bait on the Devil's hook, at the end of the 1000 years - his fallen, Adamic nature!
Revelation 20:4 - And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The Tribulation saints are now living and reigning with Christ. They were "naked," and then they "were clothed." (See Revelation 6 for a detailed account of their death.) Notice the two classes:
1. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them."
So in the passage we find "Church Age saints" and "Tribulation saints." These "thrones," of course, were promised to the Christian in this age. First of all, they were promised to the apostles in Matthew 19:27-30, where we are told that the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones, "judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Matthew 8:11 refers to the manifestation of the Kingdom. These "crowns" and "thrones" are promised to the Christians, in the Pauline Epistles (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12). If we bear our cross now, we get the crown then. No cross, no crown! (When Jesus Christ came the first time, the Devil offered Him a crown and He took a cross instead. He will get His crown in the Millennium and we'll get ours with Him (Revelation 5:10; 1:6.) People who think that the Kingdom is here now, and that the only kingdom is a spiritual one, do greatly err, knowing neither the scriptures nor the power of God. To teach that we are kings now in a spiritual kingdom, or that we are "spreading a kingdom," is doing the most violence we could to the scriptures, unless, like Voltaire, we threw the whole Book in the wastebasket. A king has a throne and a crown, and only in the Millennium will we have the King, the Kingdom, the throne and the crown, and only then will we be kings, on a throne, with a crown, "reigning with Christ."
When the Lord Jesus Christ was born, the angel said to Mary: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32).
This is not a throne that is "spiritual" - located up in the heavens - but all earthly, literal, physical, Davidic, Palestinian, Messianic throne in Jerusalem. This throne is called the "THRONE OF HIS GLORY" (Matthew 25:31). When Jesus comes and sits on this throne, He is called the "KING" (Matthew 25:34). So in the Millennium, "Church Age saints" have thrones and judge with Christ, and reign with Christ, and Tribulation saints share this reign.
"And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." This proves conclusively that the present "Kingdom of God," into which the believer is born (or translated) at the new birth (Ephesians 1, John 3, Colossians 1), is not the reign of Christ on this earth. The reign of Christ on this earth is a literal, physical, visible, Davidic, Messianic, Palestinian Kingdom which comes on this earth with thrones, and no one gets that "throne" or that "crown" until Christ comes back! Our job now is to bear a cross (Hebrews 13:10-14).
This "mistake" in theology, or willful rejection of the A.V. 1611 Text, has cost Europe and America their salvation as nations. Once a Church begins to teach that the Kingdom has already come, then that Church is going to try to set up an earthly, literal, physical, visible church kingdom, built on flesh-and-blood, and we were told that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50). We can be born into it, but we don't "inherit it" until Christ comes, and we don't inherit it then if we haven't suffered with Him (Romans 8:17). Our inheritance is based upon the condition of our suffering and living for Christ after we are saved (Colossians3:24). Our salvation is completely free, and the Kingdom of God, into which we are born, is defined in Romans.
Romans 14:17 - "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
This is not the Davidic, Messianic, Millennial "reign of Christ on this earth." It's true that most denominations teach to the contrary. "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" [Romans 3:4]. This passage says, "And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years," and folks, those souls haven't lived yet and they're not reigning yet. We don't have a glorified body yet; we're still flesh and blood."
Revelation 20:5 - But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Notice that the "first resurrection" is not spiritual. (Now when a sinner is saved, he has a spiritual resurrection, but that is not the "first resurrection" [Ephesians 2:1-6].) The expression, "first resurrection," occurs in a passage that is dealing with the first literal, physical, visible resurrection. A man who teaches that the "first resurrection'' is spiritual is "delivered unto Satan," that he may "learn not to blaspheme."
2 Timothy 2:17,18 - "And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."
Here is a Bible teacher, Hymenaeus, teaching that the resurrection is past (spiritual), that it was fulfilled in the past. We find what happens to this man, because of his teaching, in 1 Timothy 1.
1 Timothy 1:20 - "Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."
Therefore the "first resurrection" is not the resurrection of the believer at the new birth. The resurrection of the believer when he is "born-again" is a spiritual resurrection, and Revelation 20:5 is not dealing with a spiritual resurrection. It is dealing with a literal resurrection!
"This is the first resurrection." There is more than one resurrection. There are two resurrections! The second resurrection comes with the second death. So, the Bible teaches two separate, distinct resurrections (Daniel 12:2).
2 Timothy 4:1 - "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (the quickened - first resurrection) and the dead (second resurrection) at his appearing (He judges the quick.) and his kingdom (He judges the dead.)"
Luke 20:35 - "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection FROM THE DEAD, neither marry, nor are given in marriage."
Notice: Not the resurrection "of the dead," but the resurrection "from the dead." There are two distinct resurrections - a resurrection "of the dead" and a resurrection "from the dead."
Mark 9:9,10 - "And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean."
Here we see that salt-water fishermen (1900 years ago) had the same problem in understanding scripture that Pope John has today. After 1900 years of Bible study, information, and light, we would think that a man who professed to be the vicar of Christ would know more than a salt-water fisherman, who never even finished high school! All the first century fishermen knew was that there would be a general resurrection and a general judgment - as taught today by the Roman Catholic Church - officially. All any Catholic ever knew was that at the "end time" the dead came up and if they were good they went to heaven, and if they were bad they went to hell, and if they were "fair to middling" they went to purgatory (where they sweated the thing out while somebody flipped their beads, burned candles, and took money from their mothers or spouses to get them out!) This teaching by the Roman Catholic Church, regarding the resurrection, proves again that the Vatican See is nothing but a pagan, superstitious, conglomeration that knows nothing about the resurrection or Christian doctrine, in the correct sense.
John 11:23,24 - "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Martha knew only about the general resurrection and general judgment. Watch Jesus correct her.
John 11:25 - "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
If we die before Christ comes, "O grave, where is thy victory?" Out we come! (See 1 Corinthians 15:55.)
John 11:26 - "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
If we're living when Christ comes, "O death, where is thy sting?" We are caught up and "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:50-56).
Two resurrections - of the dead, and from the dead! Two distinct resurrections separated by 1000 years! "Believest thou this?"
Daniel 12:2 - "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, (1) some to everlasting life, and (2) some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Notice two, separate, distinct resurrections.
Acts 24:15 - "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."
Revelation 20:5 puts these two resurrections 1000 years apart. In Revelation 11:12 we saw how the "first resurrection" was not completed until the end of the Tribulation. Which is where we find ourselves in Revelation 20. That is why the Holy Spirit does not say, "This is the first resurrection" until all three parts are concluded. It began with the "firstfruits," the Old Testament saints; it continued with the "harvest," the rapture of the Body of Christ; it concluded with the "gleanings," the Tribulation saints. Thus we have it very clearly - three parts to the "first resurrection," the third part being over in Revelation 20:1-4. (The same three parts of the "first resurrection" are found in Deuteronomy 16:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:22-25.) See comments on Revelation 4:1,2.
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.
They reign as "priests" and they reign as "kings on this earth," for 1000 years (Revelation 5:10). That gives us our position very clearly in this dispensation. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He died as a Prophet. He was buried, arose from the dead, and became our high Priest in heaven. When He comes back, He will come back as "King of kings and Lord of lords." That means that in this present dispensation, we are prophets (Revelation 19:10). We have a high Priest in heaven, and when Christ comes back, we will be priests and kings interceding for the people on the earth during the Millennium, and reigning as kings over these people in the Millennial Kingdom.
The theme of the Old Testament is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. "The day of the Lord" (and in particular, "the day of God") stretches from the battle of Armageddon forward 1000 years to the Great White Throne Judgment, and the creations of the new heavens and the new earth. That is, "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). Not only is "the day of the Lord" spoken of as referring to the Second Coming of Christ to reign, but also it refers to the end of this 1000-year reign, when "the heavens and earth melt with a fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:10-13). Here, "the day of the Lord" is also referred to as "the day of God."
In this 1000-year "day" (this last "sabbath rest" before eternity begins), the earth has been regenerated. The word "regeneration" occurs only two times in the Bible.
Titus 3:5 - "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
This is in reference to the new birth of an individual.
Matthew 19:28 - "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
This is in reference to the new birth of the earth. There are going to be unusual things happening to this earth, physically, when Jesus Christ comes back, so much so that the change is spoken of as a "regeneration." Simon Peter refers to this in Acts.
Acts 3:20,21 - "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
There will be times when the earth is "regenerated," or "born again."
Romans 8:21-23 - "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Not only are our carnal, sinful bodies waiting for Jesus Christ to come and replace them with new bodies, but the entire "creation" is also waiting for Jesus Christ to come back. The animals are waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Even if the preachers are not! Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a barn with animals, and here we have a Savior who has something in sympathy with brute creation. He is born in a stable, and He is called a "Lamb." When He dies on the cross He not only bears the curse of sin which was placed on man, but also the curse which was placed on the ground (Matthew 13:44,45). Since all animals come from ground (and man comes from ground), and all animals feed off the ground, they all die, and there is a curse on their natural bodies (Genesis 3:17-19). So, all brute creation is waiting for redemption. If the Creator has to remedy the trouble with this creation, what are a bunch of preachers doing talking about "bringing in a kingdom" when they can't even change the natural creation? Isn't it weird? To "bring in the kingdom" we don't just convert men to Jesus Christ; we have to give them bodies that won't die, we have to prevent dogs from fighting cats, and cats from killing birds; we have to make a vegetarian out of a lion, a leopard, and a tiger. In Isaiah 11:1-11 we read about the results of this Millennium, especially Isaiah 11:6-8, where the curse is taken off the brute creation, and wild animals get along with tame animals.
In one day of time, when Jesus Christ comes back to this earth, the work is accomplished in nature that scientists have been working on 6000 years to "bring in." We have a Savior who in one day accomplished what groups of scientists among the Ph.D.'s, Th.D.'s, or M.D.'s have not been able to accomplish in 6000 years - generation after generation.
There's something wrong with the brute creation. Any man who has ever studied natural history or archaeology knows there is something wrong with this earth. It groans! It heaves! It swells! Its roots are dug deep in volcanic lava. Its tides come and go and heap up tidal waves. This earth splits in earthquakes. It has chasms and gorges in it. The most beautiful things on this earth have "thorns." Even the most beautiful thing that God ever blessed a family with - a baby - cries, screams, hollers, and rages. This beautiful creation - a baby- can lie in such filth that after two days (if we didn't change the diapers) we couldn't stand to have it in the same room! There's something wrong with "old mother nature" that Darwin wasn't able to diagnose (Genesis 3:17).
Any man who has ever farmed knows this is true. We grow the crops, and the ground chaps and cracks if it gets no rain. We get rain and it washes away the seed. If we get the right amount of rain, the crop comes up and we can't get a good stand because the grass chokes it out. We hoe out the Johnson grass, we sweat and we strain, and if we get rid of the grass, the bugs get the crop. Then we spray the bugs, and by the time we put enough spray on the crop to kill the bugs, we have so much poison in the food that it gives us cancer when we eat it. Yes, there's something wrong with nature!
What is the death rate today compared to the birth rate? It's 100%. Is that strange? Isn't science wonderful? Just think, for every one person born, one person dies! Isn't scientific achievement marvelous? Can we appreciate the fact that scientists can keep us living 10 more years than we normally would have lived - and the doctors, hospitals, lawyers, and undertakers get all our money? All that science has done in the last 100 years is to make the world easier to unite for the Antichrist! All the improvements in science in the last 100 years have been in communication and transportation - to get the world together under the Devil (Revelation 13:7,8). As the world has gotten closer together, it hasn't gotten closer to Jesus Christ. They kicked Jesus Christ out, and they don't even say "Jesus" anymore, they just say "Christ." Do we know how many people "Science" has prevented from dying in the last 6000 years? NONE! Isn't that staggering? Of all the billions of people that have swarmed across this earth, how many has "Science" prevented from dying? Not one! How many did they fix so they couldn't die? Not one!
So nature has to be regenerated, and what a thing it turns out to be! The Jews go back into Palestine, and they go back into a land that has been "regenerated" by the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. When they get back there, they find that the sun is shining seven times as bright as it was in this dispensation (Isaiah 30:26). They find that they can plant four crops a year, and the man plowing the ground for the next crop comes right behind the harvest. Also, the moon shines seven times brighter than it did (Amos 9:13-15, Isaiah 55:12,
and the context, Isaiah 30:23
and the context, Isaiah 63:19
and the context, Joel 2:19-24
and the context, Ezekiel 34:36
and the context, Ezekiel 36:29
and the context, Deuteronomy 28:10
and the context, 2 Chronicles 6:33
and the context, Psalm 72,84,85:7-13; 89,98,99,103, 111).
In addition to the earth being regenerated, we have another unusual situation, in that Israel is finally back in the homeland permanently, never to be plucked up again (Amos 9:15); the Lord Jesus Christ is their rightful Messianic Ruler, the King of the Jews; and they are in possession of the strip of land promised to Abraham according to the original unconditional covenant given to Abraham back in Genesis (see Genesis 15:18-21).
This covenant was made with Abraham when he was asleep. Therefore, it is not "conditional." God said that he would give this land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He is going to do it (Genesis 17:8). This brings up an international problem - does Palestine belong to the Arabs or Israel? We don't even have to flip a coin to find out who it belongs to. If we want God to bless us, go by the Book! If we were to listen to the Roman Catholic "pope" Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, he has just declared that in his visit of March 23, 2000! Previous popes have already stated in a Roman Catholic publication in England, "The Tablet," that Palestine belongs to the Arabs. That's just as fantastic as the teaching that there is only one resurrection.
Genesis 15:18-21 - "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
Here God gave Abraham a piece of land that not only included the little Palestinian strip of the Philistines, but it went clear over east to the river Euphrates, and clear down southwest to the Nile River in Egypt. This is the land that was recaptured during the battles of David (2 Samuel 8:3). It is this piece of land that Solomon reigned over when he ascended the throne.
1 Kings 4:21 - "And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life."
When Solomon came to the throne, the Israelites had (belonging to them), the entire strip of land that God originally promised to Abraham (Psalm 105:9-12). In the Millennium they will have this land back, and it will be divided up into strips, for the twelve tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 40 - 48). It will have a "holy portion" in the middle of it in which the temple will be built, where Jesus Christ will reign. The detailed description of the division of this land (and the new temple) is found in Ezekiel 40 - 48. Since the main theme of the Old Testament is the Second Coming of Christ, we find nine full chapters describing the division of Palestine in the Millennium, and we also find out the size of the Millennial temple. We cannot identify this city with New Jerusalem, nor can we identify this temple with the Old Testament tabernacle or Solomon's temple. The measurements are entirely different; and they are different from "Herod's temple." The measurements do not match at all. Somebody said that the temple of Ezekiel 40 - 48 was the one rebuilt by the Caesars - Herod's temple - in the time of Christ. But "the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there" (Ezekiel 48:35). Well, the Lord isn't there! Can we see how many problems these one syllable words clear up if we just believe what we read? We know perfectly well that Ezekiel's temple couldn't be the temple that was there when Jesus Christ came the first time, because Ezekiel 48:35 says, "The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there."
That isn't all - this city has no walls. The city in Christ's day has a wall around it. It couldn't be "New Jerusalem" because New Jerusalem has a wall and foundations!
This city has a temple, and there is no temple in New Jerusalem! (See Revelation 21:22.) "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
The Millennial temple is not Herod's temple; the Millennial temple is not New Jerusalem. This is referring to a Jerusalem on this earth during the Millennium, that is to be rebuilt with a literal temple in it. (See Revelation 11:1,2.) (The thing that has caused "fundamentalists" to reject this teaching is the fact that they find sacrifices given in Ezekiel 40 - 48, and since they are hung up on the doctrine that salvation is only "by grace without works," which it is in the Church Age, they will not submit to the fact that sacrifices in the temple, on the new moon, or the sabbath, will ever be observed again. Of course, this is a gross error which comes from trying to relegate the whole Bible into one dispensation. We cannot relegate the whole Bible to one dispensation. Most of the Bible is written for the time when this dispensation [Church Age] is over. The sacrifices in Ezekiel are for national atonement [Ezekiel 45:17], looking back to the cross. The new moons and the sabbaths are observed exactly as we are told they would be, in Isaiah 66:22-24, and as Paul warned us in the New Testament.)
Colossians 2:16,17 - "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Don't we see why the Seventh Day Adventist is so set on observing the sabbath? There is a time when the sabbath will be observed, but it is not in this present age. It's in the one coming! (Every heresy taught in this age is a Tribulation truth; a truth that either deals with the middle of the Tribulation or the end of the Tribulation, when the Millennial "seventh day" begins. This includes the heresy of baptismal regeneration.)
Now let's get the Bible picture clearly in mind. Here is a regenerated earth, with Jesus Christ present on that earth, and conditions restored to the earth as they were in the days of the Garden of Eden. In the Millennium, we find almost a complete restoration. The curse has been taken off nature. The sinners who were saved in Adamic bodies, which were under the curse in this dispensation (Church Age), have new bodies, and they walk about as 33-year-old reproductions of Jesus Christ. That is, there will be supernatural beings on this earth having fellowship with human beings. If this seems fantastic to you, don't forget that there were the wrong type of supernatural beings (sons of God) on this earth with human beings in Genesis 6, and there was the right "Son of God" (the Lord Jesus Christ Himself), in a supernatural body on this earth, eating with natural human beings, in Luke 24 and John 21!
The Jew is back in the land of Palestine, and the desert is "blossoming like a rose." The new moons and sabbaths are being observed again, as in 2 Chronicles 8:13. (The type of the reign of Jesus Christ in the Millennium is found in 1 Kings 2-10. Solomon, the son of David, is the antitype of Jesus, the son of David [Matthew 1], reigning over the piece of land that the Lord Jesus Christ will have access to in the Millennium.)
To complete this picture of the Millennium, we need to pick up the trail, again, which the Body of Christ, the Church, took at the Advent. It has arrived back on the earth as a "conquering army" with the Lord Jesus (Song 6:13), and those who have been faithful to Christ and have suffered with Him in the Church Age, are now given thrones and crowns, and they "reign with Him on earth." (This reign is found in Luke 19:11-27.) Notice the difference in the parable in Luke 19 - the servants with the "pounds," the English weight, and the parable in Matthew 25 - the servants with the "talent" of weight. The difference in these two accounts is confusing to a man who is not a Pre-Millennialist. The account in Matthew 25:14-31 deals with Tribulation saints who are given different amounts of talent, and the servants who misuse this talent lose their salvation (Matthew 25:30). The element of works is conditional with the salvation of these Tribulation saints, as in Matthew 25:31-40 (see comments on Revelation 12:17; 14:12). The greatest place to see this is in both parables in Matthew 25 where there is a picture the condition of people who are saved in the Tribulation, by faith and works. (When "the lamps" of the "foolish virgins" go out, they really go out - just like the Methodists and Holiness groups teach it, with the exception that the Methodists and Holiness groups apply it to this present age. Every heresy in this age is a Tribulation truth.) In Luke 19, we have a different situation. Each servant has the same amount - ten pounds (English or Gentile weight), and the unfaithful servant does not lose his salvation; he merely loses his rewards (Luke 19:24,25). The enemies of Christ are the ones who are slain (Luke 19:27). So the Christian comes back, and reigns with Christ on this earth for a thousand years, and has rulership over cities (Luke 19:17,19). He reigns as a "glorified son of God," and is in exactly the same condition as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This means that there are several million reproductions of Jesus Christ spread over this earth during the Millennium, and Jesus Christ Himself reigning in Jerusalem.
One unique thing about the Millennium is that the nations are told to come up to Jerusalem every year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 2:2,3). So in the future, the "law of the Lord" - sabbaths, new moons, etc. - will go out from Jerusalem and from Mt. Zion (Isaiah 11:10-13, Zechariah 8:21-23, Micah 4:1,2).
Zechariah 14 is about the Millennium. The Lord comes back (Zechariah 14:9), and the nations are told to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King "year to year" and to keep the "feast of tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16), showing that the "feast of tabernacles" in September or October, is connected with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. If the nations do not honor the King at Jerusalem, they are plagued (Zechariah 14:17-19). Compare this with Isaiah 26:10; 60:12; Psalm 68:6; 72:9.
The Lord is on the earth in the Millennium, and so "soul-winning" will no longer be practiced (Zechariah 13:2,3).
No longer will people say, "Know the Lord," because they will all know Him "from the least to the greatest." This truth opens up Hebrews 8:8-13, where every seminary has taught that the "new covenant" is the spiritual covenant of Christ in the New Testament. The Pre-Millennial system opens up Hebrews 8:8-13, and shows us that it is a covenant "with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" in the Millennium. This is not private interpretation. If this passage is for this present day, then here we are told not to witness for Christ anymore! (See Hebrews 8:11.) This shows how fouled-up a man can get if he doesn't keep his dispensations in the proper place. The dispensational cut, here, is so definite that in Zechariah 13:2,3 we are told that if a man witnesses and prophesies of Jesus Christ, his mother and daddy are to kill him!
One would think that with Jesus Christ reigning on the earth, and all of these wonderful conditions taking place, that surely "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Unfortunately, "man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5), and his best state is in the Millennium! In the Millennium, man has every opportunity to do right. The Devil is bound, which is true of no other age. The Lord Jesus is on earth, in a glorified body with all power, which he did not have at the first coming. No more wild animal life bothers man. Nature has been tamed - no earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, or crop failures. There is a perfect paradise on earth.
Revelation 20:7 - And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.
When Satan is loosed, he finds a whole multitude of people ready to dethrone Jesus Christ! This can only be explained by one factor - the innate depravity of man, inherited from Adam. Even with the Devil gone and Jesus Christ present, man still cannot "make it." This is an illustration of the great scientific law of "spiritual collapse" which is unknown to psychiatrists. It is the leading fundamental principle of human nature. If a man is given "knowledge of good and evil," he murders. That's what Cain did with the knowledge, in his family relationship. If a man is given authority as a political leader, he will unite nations against God (Genesis 11). If God gives special promises to a people and calls them out as a "chosen people," they complain in unbelief (Exodus 15 through Joshua.) If God gives a law to man to show him that he is a sinner, and to educate him about sin, man uses this law to exalt himself and prove that he is right (Galatians 5:4). If man is given a Savior - a religious leader who is sinless - then men crucify him. After God has given man 2000 years of grace (from the first coming to the Second Coming), and all the benefits of science, invention, travel, scholarship, etc., man sets up the Antichrist over the whole business (John 19:15; 5:43).
With 1000 years of "no Devil," with God's presence on earth, with all the nations united under a sinless Saviour, man chooses Satan and rebels against God? This is the first law of human nature - the human heart is enmity against God and is not subject to the commandments of God (Romans 8:7). We must be born again! There is no new birth in the Millennium. Consequently, the people who get through the Millennium, get through by "the Sermon on the Mount," salvation by works. It was bad enough to have salvation by faith and works in the Tribulation; but now salvation is by works only! In the Millennium, a man is saved by works without faith. Christ is on the earth during the Millennium; it doesn't take any faith to believe in a visible thing that we can see! Paul says about the Second Coming:
Romans 8:24 - "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?"
There is no "faith" in the Millennium! The plan of salvation for the Millennium is Matthew 5, 6, and 7. (This is the Bible passage to which the modernist goes to teach a sinner how to get saved in the Church Age! If it weren't so tragic it would be almost funny. The one place under God's heaven we can't go to get "saved" is Matthew 5, 6, and 7; because this is salvation by works without faith. Throughout this passage we are told to do, do, do! There is no faith in the passage.) Matthew 5 - 7 is the favorite passage that is used by the National Council of Churches for this day in which we live. There isn't anyone reading this who hasn't heard, "Judge not that ye be not judged," "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God," or "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." In the Millennium, if a man calls another man a fool, he is in danger of going to hell right on the spot. In the Millennium, if a man is angry with his brother without a cause, he is dragged before a "council." In the Millennium, if a man takes us to court, we are to give him everything we have. Salvation by works! (See Matthew 7:24.) In this dispensation, we are saved by grace through faith plus nothing, and we can't get to heaven with the Sermon on the Mount if we stayed up all night and prayed over it.
Then the man in the Millennium is saved by works without faith. Consequently, he has an unregenerate nature that is left unchanged, and if he does not follow the works, he is lost. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan comes up, he finds a mass of unregenerate people who are tired of a military dictatorship, and who are griping under the authority of Jesus Christ. They do not like His harshness, discipline, or power, and therefore, they follow Satan.
Revelation 20:7 - "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison."
Revelation 20:8,9 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. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
This winds the whole thing up. Now, where do these rebellious people come from who join Satan? They come from three separate groups. First of all, let's study the scriptures that show that there will be rebellious people on the earth in the Millennium.
Psalm 72:8,9 - "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust."
The context is the Millennial reign of Christ, when "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." In Psalm 72:9, notice that Christ has enemies in the Millennium that bow down to "lick the dust" while they hate Him in their heart.
Isaiah 26:9-11 - "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them."
Notice the context is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 26:1-4,14,18,19). "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God," but the wicked will not come to see Him, and when they do they will not learn uprightness because they will bow down at His feet, and kiss Him with hate in their heart.
Psalm 66:7 - "He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah."
The context is the Second Coming. The "rebellious" are there and they are warned to keep down and stay in their place.
Again speaking about the Second Coming:
Psalm 110:2 - "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies."
Psalm 2:9-12 - "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."
Then there is a group of people on the earth in the Millennium who don't like the Lord Jesus Christ at all. They are only "obeying" because they are under an iron military dictatorship that has absolute authority (Revelation 12:5). These rebellious people come from three places:
So the three kinds of people (at the end of the Millennium) who furnish the material for the Devil to work with are:
1. People who get through the Tribulation neutral, or their children and grandchildren.
2. People who treat the Jew right, and get through the Tribulation without taking the mark of the beast, or their children and grandchildren.
3. The children or grandchildren from these two groups who are born in the Millennium.
With the Devil removed, with nature regenerated, with no war, with no wild animals, there will be more than twice as many people on the earth at the end of the 1000 years as there are today. This will be true in spite of the fact that the Tribulation cleans them out by the millions. That is, there will be more people killed during the Tribulation than were killed in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the War of 1812, the Hundred Years' War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War combined. Yet, with all these people wiped out, with half of those left going to hell at the Second Coming of Christ - at the end of the Millennium - there will be more than twice the population on the earth today at the end of the Millennium. The reason for this is that there will be 1000 years without any war, without any disease to speak of, and without any of the pressure which Satan can bring to bear to aggravate man's sinful condition. So we can see why Satan has a multitude waiting for him at the end of the Millennium.
Revelation 20:9 - "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and (in a moment) fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
This is the final windup of the things which nearly all Christians profess to believe. This is the renovation of the earth by fire, and it includes the renovation of the heavens. This is the "last day," the last "general judgment," the "general resurrection," which all professing Christians profess to believe, without believing what the Book of Revelation says! Isn't it strange that Christians believe in "heaven" and yet, heaven is only described in Revelation? Isn't it strange that Christians believe in a "last judgment" and yet, the "last judgment" is only described in chronological order in Revelation? Yet Christians reject the doctrines of the Tribulation, Antichrist, and the "religious prostitute" [The Roman Catholic Church] in Revelation. Aren't people weird? Isn't it amazing how people pick out just what they want to believe in and throw the rest in the garbage? So much has happened before this "Last Judgment" that it has taken God 19 chapters to tell us about it.
2 Peter 3:7,10 - "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (plural 1st and 2nd heavens, the solar system)shall pass away with a great noise (This noise will make the atom bomb dropping on Hiroshima sound like a pin falling on the floor. When this thing goes off, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, the sun, moon, and the stars will be going off at one time!), and the elements shall melt with fervent heat (The word for element in Greek is our word for "atom."), the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
2 Peter 3:11-13 - "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
This brings the reader to the great subject of "the populating of outer space," which we may study when we get to Revelation 21 and 22. God has a plan for populating outer space, but it doesn't "jive" with Cape Kennedy!
Isaiah 66:22 - "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain." The seed and name is Jews. Compare Ephesians 1:10, Isaiah 65:17, Jeremiah 33:21; 17, 18.
At the end of the Millennium, God is going to send down fire from heaven, and simultaneous with this fire, the earth explodes in an "sub-atomic" combustion that will ignite the whole universe.
Revelation 20:10 - And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The "beast" and the "false prophet" are still there, burning, after 1000 years. When the Devil goes into the lake of fire, he joins the company of someone who has been burning for 1000 years. This is the hell, which was "prepared for the devil and his angels."
Revelation 20:11 - 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.
Suddenly God pulls back the veil of eternity and there He is on the throne! I don't know what all this means, nor can my mind completely grasp it. Sometimes I have a horrible idea, that when the whole thing blows up and peels away, we will suddenly see a throne so big it would cover the present solar system. There on the throne, is the "Ancient of Days"! There are the eyes about which John wrote "they were as a flame of fire." He looks up from that throne one time, and a noise goes off like 1000 galaxies exploding. Suddenly, the unsaved dead find out that they have no real resurrection. They don't "come up" - they're just standing there looking at Him! (In a sense, that's why we don't read about a "second resurrection.") The Bible speaks of the "first resurrection." "a resurrection of the just and the unjust." And "the quick and the dead." but to be very technical, the dead are not actually raised. Jesus says this to some people who ask him questions in Matthew 22.
Matthew 22:31,32 - "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the L-I-V-I-N-G."
This means that the resurrection of the unsaved dead is not a true resurrection. The true resurrection is a resurrection f-r-o-m the dead. Technically, the whole heavens blast away, and there - suspended in space - is the unsaved man standing naked in his filthy rags, with the smoke of hell still pouring off his body, as he's been in hell anywhere from 2000 to 4000 years - depending on when he died. When this thing blows away, there will be standing all the great (and small) sinners with the carbon, ashes, and brimstone of a dead, rotten-egg smell coming off their fuming, putrefying bodies, where they have been burning in a flaming hell, dripping with the filth of their sin - a filthy rag here, a filthy rag there - otherwise stripped naked before the eyes of a holy God. That's the picture! This is why we say that when a man gets saved, the great men of this world become mighty "commonplace." In the Bible, if a man is not saved he is not anything. There are men on this earth who are worshipped, and followed, and exalted by the press, as great men; but when we see them at the judgment we'll have to turn our head to keep from vomiting. That's the picture!
Job 34:22 - "There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves."
Proverbs 20:8,9 - "A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"
So when this catastrophe comes to pass, out come the unsaved to face God, and face the "books" (Daniel 7:9,10). At this last, final judgment, every man who thought God was unjust, every American who did not believe the Bible was the word of God, every man who didn't think that there was an eternal burning hell, every man who thought the Bible was composed of myths and legends, every lost scholar who ever changed one word in the Bible, every man on the face of this globe for 6000 years who didn't like it, objected to it, found fault with it, criticized it, changed it, and couldn't understand it, is going to be given ample opportunity to speak his piece.
Revelation 20:12-15 - "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
There are saved people at this judgment, also. (See Revelation 11:17,18.) The saved people that are judged at this judgment are people who were saved by faith and works in the Tribulation, and saved by works in the Millennium. They are judged "according to their works," and some of them are found "written in the book of life" (see comments on Revelation 11:18).
Suffice it to say, when a man tries to prove that one is saved by "grace through faith," he had better limit himself to the verses that deal with the Church Age. Salvation in the Tribulation is by faith in Jesus Christ, plus the Old Testament Ten Commandments; and salvation in the Millennium is by keeping the rules and commandments of the Sermon on the Mount. If this division is not properly observed and kept (and there will be thousands of people who will object to this, but God will straighten us out at the Judgment Seat of Christ), then we have to begin taking passages and going to the Greek and the Hebrew to change the passages to make them fit our theology.
Hebrews 9:27 - "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
The Christian's judgment takes place during the great Tribulation, in heaven, and the people who are saved in the Tribulation and the Millennium have their judgment in the future. This is the Great White Throne Judgment, and all the unsaved people who counted on their works to save them in the Church Age will be judged at this judgment. Also at this judgment will be the unsaved people who died under the law, who went through the form of the law without believing in the shed blood or paying any attention to the commandments. To sum it up, those who will be judged here are the unsaved dead from Adam to the Rapture, the saved and unsaved dead from the Tribulation, and the saved and unsaved from the Millennium. The outmoded saying, "The book of life is just there to prove that his name is not in it," makes good preaching, but it is ridiculous theology. The "book of life" is there because there are people who have their names written there, on the basis of their works in the Tribulation and the Millennium (see Revelation 12:17; 14:12).
There will be rewards given to the saved people from the Tribulation and the Millennium at this judgment. The saved people from the Church Age have already received their rewards. So, the saved in Revelation 20:12 are not "Church Age" saints. The "Church Age saints" are with Jesus Christ, judging as part of the judicial body gathered to judge the unsaved. This is very clear from Daniel 7.
Daniel 7:9,10 - "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame (Revelation 20:9, 2 Peter 3, Isaiah 66), and his wheels as burning fire (Ezekiel 1:13). A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
Now notice in Daniel 7:10 that not only are "ten thousand times ten thousand" standing before Him being judged by the "books that were opened," but "thousand thousands ministered unto him" while He is doing the judging. This is what Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 6:3 - "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?"
In the day of the White Throne Judgment, the saved people from the Church Age are going to judge angels! Saved people from the Church Age become "sons of God." Therefore they judge the fallen "sons of God," the fallen angels of Genesis 6. These angels are brought forth to that judgment.
Jude 6 - "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
2 Peter 2:4 - "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
2 Peter 2:9 - "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
2 Peter 3:7 - "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
Then this is the final destination of ungodly and unjust men; this is the final destination of fallen angels; this is the final destination of the wicked and unsaved from every age. This is the day of judgment, when the heavens and earth are on fire, and "the elements shall melt with fervent heat." A great white throne appears, and up they come to be judged. The Christians at this judgment are just exactly like Jesus Christ, ministering unto Him, and helping Him judge the world.
In this present dispensation, the unsaved (the world) is judging the Christian. But there is going to come a day when the Christian is going to judge the world! If we are consecrated Christians in this age, the world will call us "fanatics." If we are not consecrated, the world will call us a "hypocrite." We cannot please the world (Galatians 1:10). If we live for the Lord, they will say we are nuts, and if we don't live for the Lord, they will say we are inconsistent. We cannot please them! We cannot satisfy unsaved people! They have already seared and defiled their conscience with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-3). They have condemned themselves and have become chronic gripers and faultfinders (Titus 3:10,11). There is nothing we can do to please them! They have only one alibi to go to hell, and that's our conduct (Ezekiel 16: 54)!
Revelation 20:12 - "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
This is the same context of Daniel 7:9,10, which we have just studied. And here one of the strangest things occurs, that ever occurred in scripture. In Daniel 7:9,10, where Daniel is talking about the judgment of the unsaved dead and the "books" being opened (and it has to be in heaven - Proverbs 20:8), an event occurs that would indicate that Daniel 7:10 is placed at the end of the Tribulation, instead of the end of the Millennium.
Daniel 7:11-15 - "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts (the lion, 7:4; the bear, 7:5; the leopard, 7:6; the terrible beast, 7:7), they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time (1 year, 3 months). I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven (a reference to the end of the Tribulation), and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him (Millennium): his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which Shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me."
This vision was very confusing to Daniel, and he says, "The visions of my head troubled me." Daniel 7:9,10 is an obvious reference to the Great White Throne Judgment, but Daniel 7:11-13 seems to refer to the judgment at the end of the Tribulation, which is found in Matthew 25. (We don't know how to reconcile these passages exactly, but there is the probability of Daniel 7:11 being a reference to the Great White Throne Judgment.)
Daniel 7:18 - "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."
This kingdom is possessed "for ever and ever," and the Millennial possession is only for 1000 years. For the time being, we shall say that Daniel 7:12-14 could apply to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. But putting Daniel 7:11 with 7:10, and applying it to the White Throne Judgment shows the terrific implications of the passage with regard to our judgment if we are unsaved. It's so terrifying that it would raise the hair right straight up on our heads. If this interpretation is correct, Satan incarnate (the Antichrist), will appear as a prosecuting attorney at the White Throne Judgment to prosecute individually every soul who rejected what God said!
Daniel 7:11 - "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: (Daniel 7:8-"... in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." This is the Antichrist.) I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." (See Psalm 109:6.)
It's a wild scene, but if that interpretation is correct, the White Throne Judgment is like a lawsuit. The Judge is God the Father; the prosecuting attorney is Satan, as a man; the attorney for the defense is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1). The word "Satan" has another meaning - "accuser." Satan is called "the accuser" in Revelation 12:10. In Job 1 and 2, Satan's job was to accuse Job before God, and then accuse God before Job. This means that Satan's primary function is that of a "prosecuting attorney," a district attorney or a solicitor, who prosecutes. Our Lord Jesus Christ is said to be an "Advocate." An "Advocate" is a man "brought along side" to intervene in a case, and state the defensive position for the man who doesn't have any help. This brings up a blood-tingling thought in regards to the White Throne Judgment. If there is any unsaved man reading this, he had better get the picture. When we stand up at that Judgment, we are going to be prosecuted and attacked by a being who knows more about us than our spouses, or our mothers. Think about that! We're going to be dealt with by somebody who knows more about us than anybody in the universe - outside of the Trinity. We have a perfect picture of this in Zechariah.
Zechariah 3:1-5 - "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest (the accused) standing before the angel of the Lord (the judge), and Satan (the prosecuting attorney) standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord (defense attorney) said unto Satan, The Lord (God the Father) rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments (Isaiah 64:6), and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I HAVE CAUSED thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I WILL CLOTHE thee with change of raiment. (Fine white linen, brother, Revelation 3, 19, Psalm 45.) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre (reward, crown) upon his head. (See Revelation 3:4.) So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by."
The Christian has an Advocate; he has a "Paraclete"; he has a Comforter; he has a "Mediator." We have Someone "called in to help." If there were any chance whatsoever (and there isn't) that on that last day of judgment I should be accused by Satan, and my sins called up and passed in review, the Attorney for the defense would step in and say, "Objection! This man has already paid for his crimes in hell. I bore his sins, went through hell for him, and you cannot try him twice for the same offense. That's double jeopardy." The Divine Judge of all the universe would say, "Objection sustained." The case would be thrown out of court. GLORY!!!
We're not talking about "keeping the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments" when we talk about salvation in this age. We're talking about receiving Someone who died and went through hell for us to pay for our sins; we're talking about Someone who made a perfect, complete, and final atonement (Hebrews 10:8-12), and is standing at the right hand of God to intercede for us against the accuser. Isn't that a blessed thought? (Hebrews 7:25.)
The indication is that unsaved people are going to be faced with a prosecuting attorney and they will have no defense counsel. They are going to have to defend themselves! Their defense will be against the keenest, shrewdest, cruelest, most vicious, most subtle, most powerful mind in the universe; and if they think that they are a match for him, they're NUTS (Jude 9). He kayoed Noah. He knocked Peter out of the ring. He dropped David to the floor. He slapped Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into the ropes. Do we think he's going to have any trouble with the unsaved?
Revelation 20:12 - "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Notice the two classes of books (Daniel 12:1, Exodus 32:32, Malachi 3:16). First, there are the "books" which contain their works. Then, there is the "book of life" in which names are written. These names are also written in the "age of grace" (Philippians 4:3), unable to be blotted out because they are written by the One who paid the complete, final atonement for those who trust His shed blood, and become part of His body (2 Timothy 2:13); but there is an indication in other passages that names can be blotted out in the Tribulation, or Millennium, for works, or lack of works.
"And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Now there is only one Heavenly Book that I know of that is composed of "books." That is the Holy Bible. And there is only one Book that I know of which has literally hundreds of names recorded in it, which could be called a "live book" (Ezra 2, 1 Chronicles 1-9, Numbers 33,34, 1 Chronicles 24-26, etc.) The Bible spends more time on the names of men than it does on the account of creation! The indication seems to be that the Bible is the "book of life" with the names in it. But we won't recognize the names until we get to heaven, for Hebrew is the language of heaven (see comments on Revelation 19:3). The indication is that our names are in the "book of life," the Bible.
"And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
If the Bible is true at all, it contains all our "works." I don't recall a sin that men commit which isn't named in the word of God somewhere, or demonstrated. If we don't believe this, we ought to spend some time in Ezekiel 16:23, Proverbs 4-8, etc. This would indicate that the unsaved are going to be judged by the Bible itself. Jesus said that in John.
John 12:48 - "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
The Bible is said to be a "critic of the thoughts and intents of the heart" in Hebrews 4.
Hebrews 4:12,13 - "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (See Revelation 20:11.)
So the indication is that the unsaved man is going to be judged by the word of God in the "books," and the saved people from the Tribulation and the Millennium have their names written in the Bible, the "book of life." Of course, if a man's name is not in the "book of life," he goes to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
Revelation 20:13 - "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
Notice the different classes: "the sea," "death," and "hell." "The sea gave up the dead which were in it." This would point to the fallen angels who were drowned in "the days of Noah" (1 Peter 3). It also might identify beings (demons) who may be under the water below "the firmament" - the bottom of the universe
"And death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them." Notice that not only are the unsaved people who were in "hell" delivered up, but there are saved people in "death" (sheol or Abraham's Bosom), who were below the earth, in the Tribulation and Millennium that come up too. Saved and unsaved! (Don't forget that the occupants of Abraham's Bosom were taken up to heaven at the resurrection of Christ [Matthew 27:50-54]. In this Church Age, nobody goes to "Abraham's Bosom." But after the completion of the Body of Christ, after the "catching out" of the completed Body of Christ, death again becomes a factor about which the Lord Jesus says, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it," and "I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" [Revelation 1:18]. After the Rapture of the Church Age saints, Tribulation and Millennial saints who die do not go up into the third heaven. Why should they? Christ is not up there any longer! They go back down to "Abraham's Bosom," where the dead saints went in the Old Testament [Luke 16:19-22]. Then they are delivered up at the White Throne Judgment and judged with the unsaved dead that come up from "hell.")
This brings up another interesting doctrine about the Millennium, which has to do with the death of people who go through the Tribulation. There will be people who are alive at the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 25, Zechariah 14, Daniel 11) who go into the Millennium and die. If they're saints, they go to "Abraham's Bosom" during the Millennium, and then they appear at the White Throne Judgment to be rewarded, "according to their works" (Revelation 11:18). A saint who dies in the Tribulation is resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, as in Ezekiel 37 - don't forget the Post-Tribulation Rapture and the resurrection of Job's children at the end of Job 42 - and then goes into the Millennium, and dies again. Only saints in the Church Age ever receive bodies like Jesus Christ, and there is no indication that any man saved in the Tribulation, or the Millennium, ever gets a ''glorified body."
Modern Christians may say, "How can these things be?" Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has given some excellent types. Consider Moses. He died and was buried in Deuteronomy 34; he came back up in the Book of Jude; he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17; he returned to this earth in Revelation 11; and he was killed again, and his body lay in the streets for three days and three nights, and then he was resurrected at the end of the Tribulation. Moses died twice. Consider Lazarus. He died and was buried in a tomb. Christ said, "Lazarus, Come forth" (John 11). He came out and died again of old age. Consider Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:54). Consider the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:14). Consider the Shunammite's son (2 Kings 4). Consider Jonah (Jonah 2). Consider Dorcas (Acts 9:40). Consider Eutychus (Acts 20:10). Over and over and over, the Bible declares that some people die twice. So, we can know that if a saint dies in the Tribulation, he is resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, goes into the Millennium and dies again. If this is so, then what could prevent him from dying again after the White Throne Judgment? The "tree of life"!
Revelation 22:14 - "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (These are Tribulation and Millennial saints.)
That verse is not applicable to the Christian doctrinally. (Seventh Day Adventists can't get their eternal life off a "tree of life." In this age we must get it from the Saviour who hung on the tree of "death" [Galatians 3:13].) This verse, Revelation 22:14, has to do with people who "keep His commandments" in the Tribulation and the Millennium. They would go on dying forever, if they couldn't get eternal life. And they get it the way Adam could have had it if he would have taken it from the tree in the garden! (See Genesis 2:9,16.)
Then again, some saints in the Tribulation are caught up alive without dying, and they go into the Millennium and die. Elijah is the type of these saints. He was caught up alive in 2 Kings 2, and appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration alive in Matthew 17. He returns to earth in Revelation 11, is killed, and then is resurrected at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:11,12). The Bible is very clear in showing us that people who die in the Tribulation die twice and are resurrected twice. People who live through the Tribulation die once and are resurrected. This proves conclusively that the saved from the Tribulation and the Millennium do appear at the Great White Throne Judgment. By keeping the commandments, their names are in the "book of life," and they have a right to the "tree of life." They will live forever, not as glorified replicas of Jesus Christ, but as "male and female" lived in the Garden of Eden. (This is discussed this more fully in Revelation 22.)
Revelation 20:14 - "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
This is the end of "sheol." This is the end of "Abraham's Bosom." This is the end of all intermediate states; it is probably also the end of all physical death.
"This is the second death." Notice that He didn't say "second resurrection." He said, "This is the first resurrection" in Revelation 20:5, so technically, Revelation 20:11-15 is not a resurrection. We teach two resurrections because to all practical purposes, the two judgments are separated by 1000 years. The second resurrection is not a "resurrection" in the sense that dead people are "raised up out of their graves" and "caught up" to a position. Heaven and earth are blasted away, and there are the sinners already in position.
Revelation 20:15 - "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Matthew 10:28, Daniel 12:2, Exodus 32:32.)
Here we have to refer to some of the material in Revelation 9:1-10. In Chapter 9, I remarked that the eternal punishment of the White Throne Judgment indicates that unsaved people may receive the bodies of animals, which in eternity might degenerate into the form of a worm. Hell, in its final state, would be nothing but a crawling pile of maggots, in a lake of fire (Isaiah 34:6-17; 13:19-22; 35:7; Ezekiel 35:14). These passages indicate that the final punishment of the unsaved dead is that they get a body like their father, and their father is a serpent. He is a "red dragon." Because Christ keeps saying, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Isaiah 66:24), the indication is that they get the body of a red serpent, or worm. The word for worm in "the worm dieth not" is the word for a red maggot. (Adam was made of red brown dirt. The word "Adam" means "red brown." Edom [Esau] means "reddish brown." See commentary on Genesis - Genesis 2:7. "The life of the flesh is in the blood.") The indication is that the "vestigial organs" which remain on man - tailbone, appendix, tonsils, and earlobes, etc. - are not the remains of an animal nature that man used to have, but they are rather a prophecy of an animal nature he is going to get. This is where Darwin kicked over the bucket. Darwin thought that because he had the marks of an animal on him, he evolved up from animals. The Bible teaches that he can degenerate back to animal forms.
The first similitude that God ever gave in the Bible was:
Genesis 3:5 - "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be AS gods, knowing good and evil."
Here the Devil lies, and says that man can be just like God. But the last similitude that God gave in the Old Testament was:
Malachi 4:2 - "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up AS calves of the stall." Here God says that man is going to be just like the Devil. "Thou art cursed above all cattle" (see commentary on Genesis: Genesis 3:1).
Revelation 20:15 - "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
The disembodied spirit, separated from the body the second time, seeks an animal body (exactly as the disembodied spirits in Mark 5 sought to enter the pigs who ran down into a lake), and vanishes into a lake of fire with his father, the Devil. This is a horrible description, but the Bible speaks of it many times. The implication is that if a saved man gets a glorified body like his Father, at the first resurrection, the unsaved man, at the second resurrection, gets a body like his father, which is the body of a red serpent in the lowest form, and the lowest form is a worm (Psalm 22:6).
This winds up the final judgment. We have beheld a ghastly scene, and yet, it prepares the reader for the most beautiful picture in the Bible- the new heavens and the new earth. The last mention of the Devil, and the last mention of sin are found in Revelation 20:12-15. Both wind up with a catastrophe. The unsaved Northerner who rejected the Bible and the invitation to receive Jesus Christ, the unsaved Southerner in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee who lightly said, "Not tonight. I don't believe I can live it," and went out the door (flattering himself that his reason for rejecting Christ was a good one because he was a good, honest man, and didn't want to be a "hypocrite"), suddenly realizes that he has made the worst mistake a man could make. He realizes that he is nothing but a bald-faced liar, and that God never accepted any of his reasons for a split second. The poor, lost doctors, priests, popes, and professors who rejected Christ in the Church Age, and refused salvation by grace, suddenly discover at the White Throne Judgment that the reason why they did not trust Jesus Christ was not because they were "intellectually honest" or "wanted to live it," but because they were proud and refused to come to Jesus Christ as a hell bound, hell deserving sinner, who knew he could never live it. God closes the books, and as they close, the poor, lost souls go screaming out into eternity, off the rim of the universe, into a lake of fire, to spend the rest of eternity ill a body that has no hands to grasp what it wants to grasp, that has no feet to walk where it wants to walk, that has no eyes to see what it wants to see, that has no ears to hear what it wants to hear. In the end there is nothing but complete ruination for "the flesh," and the destroyed souls can do nothing but crawl in a slippery, slimy pile of red maggots in a lake of fire, away from the presence and blessings of God forever. What an end to a church service! What an end for a choir who sang:
"Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come) I come!"
Some man walks out the church door and says, "I can't live it," and is proud of himself for being so "honest"! But oh, my God, what a day is coming!
The last thing the Bible calls our attention to, concerning this judgment, is that God is a fair and honest God. The God of the Bible is not the arbitrary, fickle God of Calvinistic theology, who does things without an explanation, or logical reasons for doing them, and then condemns or saves men on an arbitrary will, based on nothing but pre-supposed fancy. The God of the Bible is very careful to give every man ample opportunity to say anything he wants to say. In regards to this, see these to two passages.
Psalm 51:4 - "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." (This is David speaking, saying that he has sinned against God.)
Notice when Paul quotes this, he changes it.
Romans 3:4 - "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." (Paul quotes Psalm 51:4 when he says "it is written." Notice that Paul changes the voice of the verb from active to passive. "That thou [God] mightest be justified in thy sayings [The context is the Bible. Look at Romans 3:1-3.] and mightest overcome when thou [God] art judged.")
Notice that all unsaved men are going to get a chance to judge God, and try to condemn Him. The Bible is written (Romans 3:1-3) so that when men try to judge God, and condemn Him, God takes the Book and "overcomes" the man and condemns him. We have a terrific illustration of this great truth in the gospels. Do we know that every question that the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus, He answered? Do we know that every question that He asked them, they could not answer? This means that the nature of the White Throne Judgment is that men get up there and say, "Where do the heathen go?" God answers. "Are the heathen lost?" God answers. "Do babies go to hell?" God answers. "Did Christ die for everyone?" God answers. "Why did you elect some to salvation and others not?" God answers. "Why did you pass by these and not the others?" God answers. "Why did you have them saved in one dispensation by grace, and another by faith, and another by faith and works, and another by works without faith?" God answers. "Why did you make the Bible so hard to understand?" God answers. "Why didn't you give us the original manuscripts and the original Greek and preserve it?" God answers.
Then when men have finished displaying their depraved madness before God because they rejected His revelation, God opens that old Book and with "chapter and verse" He shows them their just condemnation in everlasting fire for rejecting His Word. And off they will go! There isn't a man who ever breathed who is going to be able to prove his innocence. "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Romans 2:16). "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19). "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14). God is going to let man present all his alibis, all his reasons, all his "scientific investigations," all his great "research," all his theological conundrums, enigmas, questions, and problems. Then God is going to open that plain English Bible, written in a language anybody can get a hold of, and show the English-speaking people from the plain English why they deserve everlasting condemnation, everlasting fire, everlasting pain, everlasting shame, everlasting torment. The tragedy and horror of the thing is that when God gets through, what will they say? He won't say anything! The "wedding guests" without the garments in Matthew 22:12 were speechless. There is only one response:
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; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Every meditating Buddhist, every Taoist, every Mary-exalting Catholic, every Bible-denying Protestant, and every Christ-rejecting Jew is going to have to stand there, and after the sentence has been pronounced, bow his head and confess the truth. If there is one word they would say when the Great Judge pronounces their sentence, it will be "Amen." So be it!
"For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:3,4). All we can say is, "Verily! Verily!" This brings on the last spine-tingling scene. At the end of this judgment, souls will vanish like flakes in a snow storm, falling down, down, down, down, down to earth. In this case, souls drop off by the billions (with no two sets of fingerprints the same, as no two snowflakes are the same) into a lake of fire, screaming as they go, "AMEN! AMEN!" to the final, just, righteous condemnation of an infinite, holy God. What a day that will be! What a day that will be!
At this time, Christians will be weeping. We read in Revelation 21:4 that the tears are not wiped away from their eyes until after the White Throne Judgment, as we read earlier in Revelation 7:17 that tears are wiped away following the Judgment Seat of Christ. This means that in the day of the final Judgment, we Christians are going to see unsaved people going to hell - our relatives, our loved ones, our friends, our associates, whom we could have won to Christ, or at least to whom we could have witnessed, and we missed the opportunity. There is going to be remorse in that day among God's people. The old song, "No Tears in Heaven" is a lie. There are no tears in heaven in eternity; but eternity does not begin until Revelation 20:15, and the White Throne Judgment takes place in Revelation 20:14.
Please share your questions with the group.
Is there something our home group can pray with you about?