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Tuesday: The Millennium — 10 Comments

  1. One of the buzz-words of this century is transparency. It crops up all the time in business, politics, and particularly in charity organizations. I recently joined a committee that organizes a few events each year. It is a very low key affair but it does collect money from donations for expenses. One of the first things that I noticed was that there was no accounting of the money. It was simply collected and expenses paid. I have asked the committee to put in place a simple accounting report system so we are aware of how much money we are collecting and whether we are covering expenses. I do not suspect anyone of wrong-doing. In fact, I want the accounting done to protect the person who handles the money from any accusation of impropriety.

    In the world of birding photography, if you are making a claim that you have photographed a rare bird, you must be able to submit an unmodified "RAW" photograph to the adjudicators so they can determine that you have not modified your photograph in some way. As many of you know, photoshop can add and subtract from a photo quite mischievously if you know what you are doing.

    Such practices are typical of what we require these days to counteract dishonesty, but at the same time to protect those who are honest from being accused of dishonesty.

    In God's case, we have the compounding issue that we are currently only seeing part of the picture in the battle between good and evil. Our minds simply do not have the tools to see the whole picture. Consequently, we have lots of questions about God's justice. We are not accusing God of being unjust; we do not have all the information. God has promised transparency. We will get to ask the hard questions. There will be no redacted items.

    Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matt 19:28ESV

    • To follow the lord with reference to Matt 19:22 means to be meek like him IPet 2:22 says while he was reviled he did not reviled back again but committed himself to God who judges rightly. Also, to follow the lord means to diligently study his words. Psalm 119:9 says wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?By taking heed thereto according to his word

      • The author states "The plagues have desolated the earth and killed off it's evil inhabitants..."
        Is this statement suggesting that only the righteous will be alive at Christ's second coming?
        Is this consistent with traditional SDA teaching?

  2. Sometimes chapter and verse additions can be more trouble than good. It seems to be the case with the millennium. For some reason it is viewed apart from preceding material and out of it all sorts of mischief on its meaning and message comes forth. But letting the narrative flow from Rev 19 into Rev 20 things are a bit clearer.
    The false trinity is first introduced in Rev 12 and Rev 13. They turn up again in the sixth plague, and most likely represent the three parts of the city of Babylon. Now the three are placed in the context of the second coming with the beast and false prophets being destroyed (Rev 19), and the ring leader of the entire false system captured (Rev 20). It is here that re-emphasis upon who the dragon is, is told: The old serpent, Satan. The other half of the great controversy. The one that drew Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil with the promise that by consuming the fruit she would become "as God."
    We have been introduced to an abyss and an angel (star) earlier in Rev. 9:1, and a key and opening. The angel or star of Revelation 9 falls from heaven and is given a key, and the star unlocks the pit. Out of it comes a fury of evil (Satan acting upon his belief that freedom comes apart from God). Now we have an angel descending from heaven with the key and a chain. Since the dragon is bound from entering heaven as we find in Rev 12, this angel is not the same as in Rev 9. The angel of Rev 9 is the fallen star, Satan, who was allowed to work his manner upon earth. The abyss being the laboratory of the evil machinations that come forth from it. Now Satan is confined to that laboratory with no subjects to carry his experiments out on.
    This confinement is a terrible mocking of all Satan has believed and promised. The earth is scorched, not a soul is alive. No one to deceive and despite all that he claims, he isn't like God. He can't raise the dead. He can't grow a plant. He can't produce an animal. He is trapped upon an empty scare that covers a rocky planet to contemplate the results of his rebellion. It must be an ultimate sense of loss and despair for Satan.

  3. "... all Satan and his demonic associates can do is contemplate the consequences of their rebellion against God."

    I see comments along this line from time to time. And it reflects a normal, though faulty assumption that our subconscious minds often make. When trying to understand the hidden aspects of another person/being, our subconscious will (by default) assume that the other person's experience is more similar than different to ours. This default tendency of our subconscious is part of how our subconscious maintains an 'illusion' that this world is not as bad as it actually is and, in doing so, gives us a (false) sense of security in our daily lives.

    In trying to understand the makeup of someone who is evil, we need to recognise and go beyond our subconscious default tendency by instead engaging conscious consideration of the fact that such a being is operating on a totally different base.

    Someone who 'hardens their heart' sufficiently will actually loose certain capacities and in doing so, will cultivate others (as per Gen 6:5). We know, for example, that Satan is saddistic - He actually enjoys inflicting pain and suffering. The more cruel he is, the more he enjoys it. This is what a totally hardened heart will lead to - absolute incapacity to feel any empathy or sympathy for another's feelings and therefore instead experience self-gratification from inflicting pain and suffering.

    Consequently, I actually don't think Satan will be sitting back quietly during the millennium and contemplating what he has done and what it has led to - despite the fact that we would like to think he and his angels would do so.

    Satan is no mere 'naught boy' - he is pure evil. I rather think he has so much (ie, boundless) rage within him that his rage will will perpetually feed itself throughout the millennium. Hence, we see in Rev 20:7, 8 that when he is 'released' after the millennium, he comes out fighting - in full fury.

  4. For today's lesson, this is what concluded it for me:

    Revelation 20:1-3

    Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended...

    In my imagination I am seeing an epic moment of display of strength by the angel. I am imagining the devil being manhandled ("devilhandled") with such ease, which emphasises for me how weak and powerless the devil is in that moment. Words like seized (take hold of suddenly and forcibly. With one hand, because in the other, the angel is holding a chain), bound (holding the devil in one hand and binding him with the chain in the other hand) and threw (no definition required here); just did it for me.

    I can imagine the elation and joy when God's people witness this scene as their tormentor is defeated decisively...
    Lets all be there!

    • What a great moment that will be, Brighton! For now Satan has access to harass and hound us, but God permits nothing that isn't in His plan and someday the weak Devil will be proven so.

  5. I just finished The Story of Redemption by Ellen G. White. What a great book! The last 4 chapters sum up our lesson this week perfectly. I was so excited after reading I could hardly sleep that night! I long to be in the kingdom with Jesus and God.I was so blessed to find this jewel.


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