Thursday, October 2, 2014
The Millennium and Judgment
“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.” (Revelation 20:4)
In Revelation 4 we saw the twenty four elders on the thrones of which twelve are the twelve apostles who are to judge the tribes of Israel. In chapter six we saw the souls of those who were killed for their testimony in Christ. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 said that all God’s people will also be present. For a thousand years they will be with the Lord, participating in the marriage supper of the Lamb, and his awards banquet. For a thousand years he will maintain his kingdom here on earth, known as the Millennial Kingdom. Isaiah 11:4-9 describes conditions during the Millennium.
“But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:4-9)
For a thousand years, things will be almost like God made them at creation with all the animals again being vegetarians, and sin punished by death immediately. People will know God and his hatred of sin and will be afraid to disobey.
“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.” (Revelation 20:5-6)
The first resurrection is when the believers are resurrected. Those resurrected at that time are assured of a place with God and will not have to go through the Judgment, Instead they will reign with him as kings and priests forever as Revelation 1:5-6 tells us. The unsaved, however will not be resurrected until the end of the millennium.
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 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.” (Revelation 20:7-9)
After a thousand years of imprisonment. Satan will be released for a short time, to go out and give the nations a choice whether they will follow Christ or Satan. After a thousand year with no crime or war or disease, the same nations that followed the king of the North listed in Ezekiel 38-39 will again follow Satan. By doing so they demonstrate again mankind’s deliberate choice of evil over Good. This time there will be no battle.
Instead God will just send fire from heaven that will destroy the entire earth. II Peter 3:10 describes what happens. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” God will have sterilized the entire universe, eliminating any trace of corruption or evil.
“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.” (Revelation 20:10)
At that time Satan will be cast into the Lake of fire and molten rock along with the Antichrist and the false prophet. He is just as much a prisoner as anyone else, and will suffer the torment of the flame forever and ever, similar to what a person who has been severely burned may suffer in a burn unit while waiting for death, except they will never die.
“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. 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.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
All the people who lived and were not at the first resurrection will be resurrected and stand before the Great White Throne of judgment. They will be judged on their attitudes toward God, as demonstrated by what they said according to Matthew 12:35-37. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” These things will demonstrate the justness of their judgment.
The book of life will also be opened, and each person’s name checked to verify they have not had their sins forgiven. Those who have believed in Christ have their names permanently inscribed in the Book of Life, but the names of those who have not are blotted out according to Revelation 3:5. For those who have believed, their sins were blotted out of the other books according to Acts 3:19 and Colossians 2:14. This is why John 3:18 could say, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” For those who have believed there is no record of their sin, but for the unbelievers, their sins are recorded.