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The Judgment of the Wicked

Meanwhile, as we continue the passage in Revelation 20, after Satan is "bound", or confined, we learn where the saints are:

    REVELATION 20:4-6 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. 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.

And here is the "millennial reign" of the saints with Christ. The saints are with Christ in heaven, where He prepared a place for them. This place is called "New Jerusalem." They are referred to as those who arose in the "first resurrection", which implies a "second resurrection" will follow at some point in time.

The First Resurrection

Another very important thing is mentioned here:

    REVELATION 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power...

The SECOND DEATH has no power over these who partook in the first resurrection. What is this "second death"? We shall soon see that the wicked are resurrected at the second resurrection (which takes place at the end of the 1,000 years) to receive their just reward, which is not to "eternally", but to suffer the second death, which is accomplished by fire.

What do the Saints Do for 1,000 Years?

What do the saints do in heaven for 1,000 years?

    1CORINTHIANS 6:2-3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

The saints somehow participate in the judgment of the wicked. For 1,000 years, this process takes place- the records of the deeds of the wicked are gone over and their punishment is decided.

But doesn't the Bible say that CHRIST is the judge of the wicked?

    JOHN 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son

The question must now be, what part do the righteous play in this process if Christ is the judge? The Scriptures make it quite clear what their part is. But to fully comprehend this, we must stop for a moment and think about something. Suppose you arrive in heaven and discover that someone you loved very deeply and believed would surely be in heaven, ISN'T THERE. How would you feel? God has made provisions that we should understand why each and every person who ISN'T in Heaven, is lost.

    1TIMOTHY 5:24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

We all know that God knows everything that takes place- no sin can be hid from Him- so what does this verse mean? It means that the SAINTS will see and understand why each of the wicked is lost. Their sins, no matter how secret they were when on earth, will be revealed for all the saints to see:

    2TIMOTHY 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

    1CORINTHIANS 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    REVELATION 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Notice the second & third verses above, for they indicate that when "all nations", "every man" or all the saints, come and glorify His Name and worship before Him, it is AFTER His "judgments are made manifest". In other words, those who are to live eternally with Him, actually SEE the records of the deeds of those who are lost; they understand WHY they are lost and agree that His judgments are just and right. The knowledge that this would occur was even known by Isaiah, who wrote:

    ISAIAH 3:14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people,...

Judgment Takes Place in "His Father's House", "New Jerusalem"

And that this judgment process takes place in New Jerusalem was written about by David:

    PSALMS 122:3-5 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is COMPACT TOGETHER: Whither the tribes go up,... For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.

That this CANNOT be referring to the Jerusalem on earth is obvious. There are no thrones set in the Jerusalem on earth. And the description of the city, "compact together", can be curiously compared to the description of New Jerusalem given in Revelation:

    REVELATION 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The Holy City, New Jerusalem, is a perfect cube- it is as wide as it is high and long- "compact together".

The Events of the END of the "Day of the Lord"

In Daniel we read of events of the "day of the Lord" which go a step further than the judgment, and mention the culmination of the "day of the Lord," or the 7th 1,000 year period:

    DANIEL 7:22 ... the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Here is absolute confirmation that the saints do not receive the promised kingdom until AFTER the "judgment" is "given to the saints of the Most High". But their "possessing the kingdom" here marks the final culmination- what happens BEFORE this to the wicked, the fallen angels and Satan?

The Second Resurrection- "Gog and Magog"

    REVELATION 20:7-8 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.

At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan goes out to again "deceive" the "nations"- who are these nations?

    JOHN 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; AND THEY THAT HAVE DONE EVIL, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION.

If ALL the dead, both righteous AND wicked, were resurrected at the same time, why would John write of two resurrections? Revelation makes it clear that they are not resurrected at the same time- READ THIS AGAIN:

    REVELATION 20:5-6 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.

The wicked are resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years. And these are the "nations" that Satan goes out to deceive.

Everything in Its Proper Order

How does Satan try to deceive them? Before we get to that, we need to understand more about the series of events which occur. Paul tried to explain this:

    1CORINTHIANS 15:23-26 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. THEN COMETH THE END, WHEN HE SHALL HAVE DELIVERED UP THE KINGDOM TO GOD, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

The series of events of the 1,000 years close with Christ gaining the victory over ALL enemies, the last of which is death. How does Christ victor over "death"? This final victory is gained by the elimination of sin, for death results from only one thing- sin:

    ROMANS 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; How does He eliminate sin? By the utter destruction of Satan, the fallen angels and the wicked who are resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years.

The LAST Great Battle- the Destruction of the Wicked

The wicked are all brought forth from their graves (REV 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, led by Satan, they surround the saints:

    REVELATION 20:8 And [Satan] 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. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and COMPASSED THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS about, and the beloved city...

But wait a minute! Wasn't the earth completely desolate for the 1,000 years? Yes, it was. But here, we learn that Satan gathers the wicked about the "camp of the saints" and the "beloved city". We have already learned that the wicked are resurrected in the 2nd resurrection, so that explains THEIR presence on the earth, but WHERE did New Jerusalem come from?

    REVELATION 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,.... The city, New Jerusalem, descends to the earth.

But where are Christ and the saints? We go to 2 other prophetic passages. Here, although he doesn't mention New Jerusalem, Zechariah writes about a time when "HE" (Christ) comes, and that THIS time He has ALL the SAINTS WITH HIM. And THIS time, He is coming to "fight against those nations" -called "Gog and Magog" in Revelation, or the resurrected wicked:

    ZECHARIAH 14:3-9 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against THOSE NATIONS, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.... And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:...

Before the Holy city descends to the earth, Christ's feet touch the Mount of Olives which splits, displacing the land in all directions, preparing a great plain for the city, New Jerusalem to set upon. Enoch, before the flood, also prophesied about Christ's return at THIS time:

    JUDE 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches....

Again, we have more evidence that when Christ returns WITH HIS SAINTS, it is to pronounce judgment upon the wicked. And since He is "coming" with His saints, this is absolute evidence that wherever He was, His saints were with Him.

Revelation tells of New Jerusalem descending to earth. We know Christ and the saints have been in New Jerusalem for 1,000 years, but are they in the city when it descends? No. Zechariah tells that Christ's feet touch the Mt. of Olives and a very large plain is formed. Christ and the saints, it appear, arrive BEFORE the city. Both Zechariah and Enoch tell of Christ returning WITH HIS SAINTS to "fight against" the nations and "execute judgment upon all."

At this time, the resurrected wicked, led by Satan, make one last attempt to overcome Christ and the saints:

    REVELATION 20:9,10,14,15 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. 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. 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.

The fire from God destroys the wicked, including Satan and the fallen angels.

    ISAIAH 66:24 ... they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched;...

    ISAIAH 47:14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

The "Fire" Which Destroys the Wicked

This fire is described by David:

    PSALMS 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Isaiah, too, wrote of this "day" (events contained within this last 1,000 year period):

    ISA 34:8-10 For it is the DAY OF THE LORD'S VENGEANCE, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

Again, we have the phrase, "for ever and ever", which does not mean throughout eternity, but instead for a continuance of time that is of unspecified duration- no one "walks there" until the fires have burned EVERYTHING completely. The stress is on the permanence of the situation. There is no reprieve, no turning back, no rectifying the situation.

    MALACHI 4:3 And YE SHALL TREAD DOWN THE WICKED; for THEY SHALL BE ASHES UNDER THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

SODOM & GOMORRAH- A Very Important Evidence!

God knew that the time would come when the belief would prevail that the wicked "burn throughout eternity" and He provided us an example that would very clearly demonstrate that these fires DO reach a point where they cease to burn. Jude wrote:

    JUDE 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE.

God preserved Sodom and Gomorrah for this last generation- why? So that people could see the "vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE". Is that fire STILL burning? Of course not. The original Greek words for "eternal" and "everlasting" which refer to the fires employed in the punishment of the wicked, do NOT mean fires that burn "without end, throughout eternity". The Greek words, when speaking of this fire, show NOT that the fires burn "forever", but that their effect is not temporary, but final, and the phraseology shows that its purpose is not remedial but retributive. The fires which burn the wicked do not burn throughout "eternity", but they DO burn everything completely. Nothing remains of the wicked, nor of Satan and his angels. There is no reprieve from this final sentence. They are utterly destroyed.

    2THESSALONIANS 1:7-9... THE LORD JESUS shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In FLAMING FIRE TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD, and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The reward of the wicked is complete destruction, which takes place, we learn as we continue this same passage:

    10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Their final punishment, destruction in the fire, is witnessed by the saints who are in New Jerusalem:

    PSALMS 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, THOU SHALT SEE IT.

The Destruction of Satan

But it is the destruction of Satan that will be the crowning event of Christ's victory. Before the wicked are destroyed, even THEY will witness the downfall of Satan:

    EZEKIEL 28:14-19 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. THOU WAST PERFECT IN THY WAYS from the day that thou wast created, TILL INIQUITY WAS FOUND IN THEE. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I WILL DESTROY THEE, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I WILL CAST THEE TO THE GROUND, I WILL LAY THEE BEFORE KINGS, THAT THEY MAY BEHOLD THEE. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I BRING FORTH A FIRE FROM THE MIDST OF THEE, IT SHALL DEVOUR THEE, AND I WILL BRING THEE TO ASHES UPON THE EARTH IN THE SIGHT OF ALL THEM THAT BEHOLD THEE. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and NEVER SHALT THOU BE ANY MORE.

Isaiah wrote about the resurrection of the wicked and how they will finally see Satan for what he really is:

    ISAIAH 14:9-16 Hell from beneath is moved for thee TO MEET THEE AT THY COMING: IT STIRRETH UP THE DEAD FOR THEE, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, ART THOU ALSO BECOME WEAK AS WE? ART THOU BECOME LIKE UNTO US? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that SEE THEE SHALL NARROWLY LOOK UPON THEE, and consider thee, saying, IS THIS THE MAN THAT MADE THE EARTH TO TREMBLE, that did shake kingdoms;

After the resurrected wicked see Satan for who he really is, it happens

    REVELATION 20:9-11 ... fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 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. 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.

The fires burn until they are all completely destroyed. There "was found no place for them"- in other words, they no longer "exist". They are utterly consumed.

In speaking to Satan, the promise was made through Ezekiel that he would one day "be no more":

    EZEKIEL 26:21 I will make thee a terror, and THOU SHALT BE NO MORE: though thou be sought for, yet SHALT THOU NEVER BE FOUND AGAIN, saith the Lord GOD. Of the wicked, it is said that one day they "shall be as though they had not been"

    OBADIAH 1:15-16 For THE DAY OF THE LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and THEY SHALL BE AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN.

The Inheritance of the Saints

It is finally over. No longer does sin or its results exist anywhere in the universe. The earth is restored to its Edenic state after the fires that destroyed the wicked, have cleansed and purified the earth. Satan has been destroyed:

    ISAIAH 14:7-8 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.

Never again will sin and rebellion raise its ugly head:

    NAHUM 1:9-10 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

Could ANY of the saints rejoice if they knew that their loved ones and friends who had not been taken when Christ came, were burning throughout eternity? Of course not. The saints have seen the records of the "lost"; they have seen them receive their just reward, which is utter destruction. They have seen Satan and his angels also receive their just reward, which again, is destruction.

    ISAIAH 25:8-9 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, THIS is OUR GOD; WE HAVE WAITED FOR HIM, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

He wipes away all tears- and as this passage continues, we again are told the final fate of the wicked:


The Earth "Restored"

It is NOW that the saints inherit the land:

    ISAIAH 60:18-21 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

From the time of Abraham, the promise was made of the inheritance of the land called Canaan- the "promised land". Here was Mt. Zion and Jerusalem. And here is where the Holy City, New Jerusalem will be. But at that time, the land they inherit won't be as it is today- it will be as the Garden of Eden.

    ISAIAH 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and HE WILL MAKE HER WILDERNESS LIKE EDEN, AND HER DESERT LIKE THE GARDEN OF THE LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

Purified by the fires that destroy Satan, the fallen angels and the wicked, the land is restored. The results of sin are gone forever.

    ISAIAH 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The saints themselves will be free of the results of sin- no more will sickness exist; no more will there be sorrow; there will be no pain of any sort:

    ISAIAH 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

    ISAIAH 40:29,31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.... But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Man cannot, in his wildest dreams, conceive of what God has planned for those who are faithful to Him:

    ISAIAH 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

When Will Christ Return?

If the concept that Christ will return at the end of 6,000 years is accurate, then we are almost at that time. While most people looked to 2000 AD as the "dawn of the new millennium," the truth is that this 6,000 year period was over some time around 1997.  We are now in a short tarrying time, awaiting Christ's return.

Based on the information from the Biblical account, Adam was created in 4004 BC. Four thousand years later, in 4 BC, Christ was born. When Dionysius Exiguus, in the 6th century, created the calendar which we now use, he made an error in reckoning -- this was known at the time it was developed, but it continued in use because the purpose of the calendar was to correct the date of Easter due to a dispute in the early church. This calendar continued in use all these years. It was based on the year of the birth of Christ, which was considered to be year "1", and actually the evidence shows that He was born in 4 BC. But since this calendar does not include a year "0", (year 1 BC is directly followed by 1 AD), the error is only 3 years instead of 4.

So, are we "setting a date"? No -- there are always human errors to take into account. Then, there are also "unknowns" which prevent us from being confident in our calculations. We were not meant to know the exact time- only when it is near. There is also a Scripture that indicates that the time will be shortened. The disciples asked Christ 3 questions in one sentence:

    MATTHEW 24:3 ..., Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and OF THE END OF THE WORLD?

His reply included a statement which we believe may refer to the time of His return:


What does all of this mean?  It doesn't mean that we can set the date- it only means that we have enough evidence to know that we are extremely close. Do we DARE attempt to set a date when we have the words of Christ, Himself:

    MATTHEW 24:42,44 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.... Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.





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