Tuesday: Events at the End of the Millennium
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Read Revelation 20:7-9.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

What event marks the close of the millennium, and what opportunity does it provide Satan?

Reversal of the circumstances of Satan marks his being ‘released’. This event is linked with the resurrection of the rest of the dead who “did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (vs. 5, NKJV). The phrase “Gog and Magog” is used figuratively, as in Ezekiel 38:2, to describe those whom Satan will succeed in deceiving – the wicked from all ages. It is this universal multitude that Satan will inspire to try to overthrow the city of God. Revelation 20:9 suggests that the city, the New Jerusalem, at this time will already have descended from heaven to earth (presumably with Christ), and Satan and his hosts will march against it. A detailed description of the city is given in Revelation 21.

As said earlier, Revelation does not move in a distinctly chronological order. Look at Revelation 20:11-15. How is the idea of judgment expressed here? What is the significance of the fact that final punishment occurs after the saints are involved in judgment? Rev. 20:4.

“During the millennium the saints participate in a deliberative judgment that reviews the cases of the lost of this earth and the fallen angels. This judgment is evidently necessary in view of the cosmic nature of the sin problem. The course of the rebellion of sin has been the object of concern and interest on the part of other worlds (Job 1; 2; Eph. 3:10). The whole interlude of sin must be handled in such a way that hearts and minds throughout God’s universe are satisfied with its treatment and conclusion, with particular reference to God’s character. It is especially important for the redeemed from earth to understand God’s dealings with those who called for the rocks to fall on them and deliver them from the ‘face of him who is seated on the throne’ (Rev. 6:16). They must be totally satisfied that God was just in His decision regarding the lost.” – Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Maryland: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 2000), p. 932.

What does it say about the character of God that we, ourselves, can be involved in the judgment of the lost? How does this concept fit in with the whole idea of the great controversy?

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Tuesday: Events at the End of the Millennium — 6 Comments

  1. God is transparent. Also, with giving humans an opportunity to he involved in judgment, He says that their nature has been competely restored to its original shine.

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  2. We have to stay in our knees, days after days and nights after nights so that God should give us the opportunity belong they who will be at the first resurrection and this day for we don't belong they who will say: to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (Rev.6:16).

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  3. The culmination of the whole episode is the events at the end of the millennium. Devil will be let loose for little while, wicked death will be resurrected to receive their final judgment and E. White was tool detail and very descriptive as outlined at the close of the thousand years:
    1. Christ again returns to the earth.
    2. He is accompanied by the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels.
    3. He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom.
    4. Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God.
    5. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!” It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips.
    6. Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy.
    7. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans
    8. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God.
    9. Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men.
    10. They lay their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the New Jerusalem.
    11. All immediately begin to prepare for battle. Skillful artisans construct implements of war. Military leaders, famed for their success, marshal the throngs of warlike men into companies and divisions.
    12. At last the order to advance is given, and the countless host moves on—an army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal.
    13. Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle.
    14. With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth’s broken and uneven surface to the City of God.
    15. By command of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the onset.
    16. Christ appears to the view of His enemies. Far above the city, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up.
    17. Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom arranged in three rows.
    18. In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place.
    19. Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam’s temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption.
    20. Satan seems paralyzed as he beholds the glory and majesty of Christ.
    21. As Satan looks upon his kingdom, the fruit of his toil, he sees only failure and ruin. He has led the multitudes to believe that the City of God would be an easy prey; but he knows that this is false. Again and again, in the progress of the great controversy, he has been defeated and compelled to yield. He knows too well the power and majesty of the Eternal.
    22. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.
    23. The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They “shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished “according to their deeds.” The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah. (The Great Controversy: Chapter 42 – The Controversy Ended pp. 662-673)

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    • Many years ago I asked a well-known theologian who was teaching at one of our universities what the New Jerusalem in Rev 21 was all about. He told me that it was a symbolic description of the saved church. The more I consider the description John gives of the city the more I agree with what that theologian said. For instance, we know that walled cities were important in ancient times for security against invasion and the gates of the city were usually guarded during the day and shut at night, as a precautionary measure for the same purpose. Thus the concept of a city with walls provides a feeling of security. The question is, would that be necessary in Heaven especially when, “Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there)” (Rev. 21:25 NKJV)?

      Of course, if that interpretation about the New Jerusalem is true, that raises a lot of questions about what happens at the end of the millennium. It seems that the doors of the city are open for a while, according the Great Controversy quote above. Why are the doors open? Why does God bring His saved people back into contact with the wicked again? Would that be at all necessary? Couldn’t God do everything without that happening, after all, everyone in Heaven is satisfied with God's judgment aren’t they?
      The things I raise here have been brought up by other people trying to reconcile the picture we get of Jesus in the New Testament with the idea that people will be burning over a longer period than just an instant, apparently in some cases for days (https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_GC.673.1).

      If the New Jerusalem that John saw was symbolic, then why are the righteous placing themselves in direct contact with the wicked after it has been decided that they are to be destroyed? One answer could be another judgment, this time by the wicked themselves as Paul said, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11 NKJV; see also Rom. 14:11). At the end they finally realize that they were wrong and they confess that Jesus was right all along but that still doesn’t answer why the close proximity of both camps. Could it be that something more has to be revealed before the controversy closes that would answer all possible questions that could ever be raised in the future?

      One possibility would be the mindset of the wicked even after acknowledging they were wrong. What do they do? “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city” (Rev. 20:7-9 NKJV). They attempt to overthrow the kingdom of God which shows that even under conviction they still remain in full rebellion and refuse to change (Rev 22:11).

      But there is yet another possibility. I mentioned in an earlier comment of mine that I felt that the 1000 years will a period of tears and questions. Suppose that the saints wonder that if they had done things differently then the wicked would have been saved. How could such questions be answered? Simple let them try. It is not a matter of a second chance, for they have already been condemned with everyone’s approval but maybe the saints have a need to see that the wicked have, in fact, really cemented their decisions and will not change no matter what is done. Many see in Ellen White’s description of the end of the Millennium a part of that process.

      Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of . . . It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them . . . All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: “We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.” {Great Controversy 666.3 – 668.3 (https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_GC.666.3)}

      Both I and they believe that the saints will be part of that conviction just as our witness today also plays a part in the conviction by the spirit.

      While I am a firm believer that there will be a cleansing fire at the end I wonder if the fire of Rev 29:9 isn’t symbolic of an intense conviction by the Holy Spirit as they cave in to the realization that they are actually wrong which eventually causes a mental short circuit. It wouldn’t be the first time that the connection between the mind and the body would demonstrate that a person’s brain can actually damage and even kill the physical body. Besides there are several symbols the Bible uses for the Holy Spirit – fire is one of them as seen on Pentecost (Act 2:3).

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