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1000 Years of Peace

25 Nov
You can be certain that it’s coming – an incredible millennium that will be ushered in after Christ’s return.  And the devil doesn’t want you to know about his 1,000-year prison sentence because it reveals his true character. In fact, Satan has concocted a counterfeit message on the millennium to trick you!  It’s an awesome, fascinating study that will utterly shake everything you’ve ever known! Now you can have the Bible’s amazing truths about the coming 1,000-year reign.
1. What event begins this 1,000-year period?

1. What event begins this 1,000-year period?

“These came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4, NEB, last part of verse.*

Answer:   A resurrection begins the 1,000-year period.
*The New English Bible, (C) 1961, 1970 by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.

The 1000-year period begins at the resurrection of the righteous.

The 1000-year period begins at the resurrection of the righteous.

2. What is this resurrection called? Who will be raised in it?

“This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:5, 6.

Answer:   It is called the first resurrection. The righteous people–“blessed and holy” of all ages–will be raised in it.

The 1000-year period ends at the resurrection of the wicked.

The 1000-year period ends at the resurrection of the wicked.

3. The Bible says there are two resurrections. When is the second resurrection, and who will be raised in it?

“The rest of the dead [those who were wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5. “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.” John 5:28, 29.

Answer:   The second resurrection takes place at the close of the 1,000-year period.  The wicked will be raised in this resurrection.  It is called the resurrection of damnation.
Please notice: The resurrection of the righteous begins the 1,000 years.  The resurrection of the wicked ends the 1,000 years.

A devastating earthquake and hailstorm will strike the earth at Jesus' second coming.  At that time the righteous of all ages will rise to meet Jesus in the air.

A devastating earthquake and hailstorm will strike the earth at Jesus’ second coming.  At that time the righteous of all ages will rise to meet Jesus in the air.

4. What other momentous events take place when the 1,000 years begin?

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7. “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, … and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. “And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent [scholarly estimates vary from 58 to 100 pounds].” Revelation 16:18, 20, 21. (See also Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 24:1, 3, 19, 20; Isaiah 2:21.)

Answer:   Other momentous events that take place as the 1,000 years begin are: the most devastating earthquake and hailstorm in history strike the earth; Jesus returns in the clouds for His people; and all the saints are caught up into the air to meet Jesus.

The living wicked will be slain by the brightness of Jesus' second coming.

The living wicked will be slain by the brightness of Jesus’ second coming.

5. What happens to the wicked–living and dead–at Jesus’ second coming?

“With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:4. “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. “Let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” Psalms 68:2. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5.

Answer:   The living wicked will be slain by the very presence of Christ at the second coming. When an angel appeared at Jesus’ tomb, the entire group of Roman guards fell as dead men (Matthew 28:2, 4). When the brightness of all the angels, God the Father, and God the Son combine, the wicked will die as if hit by lightning. The wicked already dead when Jesus returns will remain in their graves until the end of the 1,000 years.

The righteous will be in heaven with Jesus during the 1,000 years.

The righteous will be in heaven with Jesus during the 1,000 years.

6. Many believe the unsaved will have an opportunity to repent during the 1,000 years. What does the Bible say about this?

“The slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jeremiah 25:33. “I beheld, and, lo, there was no man.” Jeremiah 4:25.

Answer:   It is impossible for any person to repent during the 1,000 years because there will not be a person alive on earth. The righteous will all be in heaven. All the wicked will be lying dead upon the earth. Revelation 22:11, 12 makes it clear that the case of every person is closed before Jesus returns. Those who wait to accept Christ until the 1,000 years begin will have waited too long.

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the “bottomless pit” where Satan will be forced to stay during the 1,000 years.

7. The Bible says that Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit during the 1,000 years. What is this pit?

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit. … And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit … till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” Revelation 20:1-3.

Answer:   The word for “bottomless pit” in the original Greek is “abussos,” or abyss. That same word is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament in Genesis 1:2 in connection with the creation of the earth, but there it is translated “deep.” “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” How interesting! The words “deep,” “bottomless pit,” and “abyss” here refer to the same thing–the earth in its totally dark, disorganized form before God made order of it. Jeremiah, in describing this earth during the 1,000 years, used virtually the same terms as these in Genesis 1:2: “without form and void,” “no light,” “no man,” ‘black.” Jeremiah 4:23, 25, 28. So the battered, dark earth with no people alive will be called the bottomless pit, or abyss, during the 1,000 years just as it was in the beginning before Creation was completed. Isaiah 24:22 also speaks of Satan and his angels during the 1,000 years as “gathered in the pit” and “shut up in the prison.”

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the “bottomless pit” where Satan will be forced to stay during the 1,000 years.

8. What is the chain that binds Satan? Why is he bound?

“An angel … having … a great chain in his hand … laid hold on … Satan, and bound him a thousand years, … 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.” Revelation 20:1-3.

Answer:   The chain is symbolic, a chain of circumstances.  A spirit being cannot be confined with a literal chain.  Satan is “tied down” because he has no people to deceive.  The wicked are all dead and the righteous are all in heaven.  The Lord confines the devil to this earth so he cannot roam the universe hoping to find someone to deceive.  Forcing the devil to stay on the earth, alone with his demons for a thousand years with no one to deceive, will be for him the most galling chain ever forged.

REVIEW THE EVENTS OCCURRING  AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Devastating earthquake and hailstorm (Revelation 16:18-21 Revelation 6:14-17).
  2. Second coming of Jesus for His saints (Matthew 24:30, 31).
  3. Righteous dead raised to life (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
  4. Righteous given immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
  5. Righteous given bodies like Jesus (1 John 3:2 Philippians 3:21).
  6. All righteous caught up into the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
  7. Living wicked slain by the breath of the Lord’s mouth (Isaiah 11:4).
  8. Wicked in graves remain dead until the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5).
  9. Jesus takes righteous to heaven (John 13:33, 36 14:1-3).
  10. Satan bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
9. Revelation 20:4 says there will be a judgment in heaven during the 1,000 years. What for? Who will participate?

9. Revelation 20:4 says there will be a judgment in heaven during the 1,000 years. What for? Who will participate?

“I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.

Answer:   The righteous of all ages (and probably even good angels) will participate in the judgment during the 1,000 years.  The cases of all who are lost, including the devil and his angels, will be reviewed.  This judgment will make details regarding the lost clear to each saved person.  In the end, all will see that people are shut out of heaven only if they did not really want to live like Jesus or to be with Him.

REVIEW THE EVENTS AND CONDITIONS DURING THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Earth in battered condition from huge hailstones and devastating earthquake (Revelation 16:18-21 6:14-17).
  2. Earth in total blackout/bottomless pit (Jeremiah 4:23, 28).
  3. Satan and his angels forced to stay on the earth/bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
  4. Righteous in heaven participating in the judgment (Revelation 20:4).
  5. Wicked are all dead (Jeremiah 4:25 Isaiah 11:4).

During the 1,000 years, every soul who has ever lived on earth will be in one of two places: (1) on the earth, dead and lost, or (2) in heaven, taking part in the judgment.  The Lord invites you to be in heaven.  Please accept His invitation.

The holy city, along with all God's people, will descend to earth at the close of the 1,000 years.

The holy city, along with all God’s people, will descend to earth at the close of the 1,000 years.

10. At the close of the 1,000 years the holy city, new Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to this earth. Who will come with it? Where will it settle?

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. … And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” Revelation 21:2, 3. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh.” “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. … And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.” Zechariah 14:1, 4, 5, 10.

Answer:   The new Jerusalem will settle where the mount of Olives now stands.  The mountain will be flattened to make a great plain, upon which the city will come to rest.  All of the righteous people of all ages (Zechariah 14:5), the angels of heaven (Matthew 25:31), plus God the Father (Revelation 21:2, 3) and God the Son (Matthew 25:31) will return to earth with the holy city for Jesus’ special third coming.  The second coming will be for His saints the third will be with His saints.
Jesus’ Three Advents:
1.  First coming, to Bethlehem in a manger.
2.  Second coming, in the clouds at the beginning of the 1,000 years to take His people to heaven.
3.  Third coming, with the holy city and all righteous people at the close of the 1,000 years.

11. What will happen to the wicked dead at this time? How will this affect Satan?

“The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations.” Revelation 20:5, 7, 8.

Answer:   At the close of the 1,000 years (when Jesus comes the third time) the wicked will be raised. Satan, loosed from his bonds, will then have an earth full of people (all the nations of the world) to deceive.

After the holy city descends, the wicked people of all ages--with Satan as their leader--will attempt to capture the city.

After the holy city descends, the wicked people of all ages–with Satan as their leader–will attempt to capture the city.

12. What will Satan do then?

“Satan shall … go out to deceive the nations … of the earth, … 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.” Revelation 20:7-9.

Answer:   Satan, true to his nature, will immediately begin lying to the people left on the earth–the wicked from all ages. He will probably claim that the city is really his, that he was unjustly deposed from the heavenly kingdom, that God is power-hungry and ruthless, and that God is getting ready to wipe them all off the face of the earth with a devastating, inescapable fire. He will convince them that, if they unify, God does not have a chance. With the entire world against one city, the victory will appear certain. The nations will then unite and marshal their armies to surround the new Jerusalem.

When the wicked of the ages surround the holy city, God will destroy them with fire that falls from heaven.

When the wicked of the ages surround the holy city, God will destroy them with fire that falls from heaven.

13. What will interrupt Satan’s plan to capture or destroy the city?

“Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into … the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 20:9, 10; 21:8. “The wicked … shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:3.

Answer:   Fire will suddenly come down from heaven (not up from hell, as many believe) upon the wicked and all will be turned into ashes, including the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). This fire that destroys sin and sinners is called the second death. There is no resurrection from this death. It is final. Notice that the devil will not be tending the fire, as is commonly believed. He will be in it, and it will put him out of existence.

14. When the wicked are burned up and the fire goes out, what glorious, thrilling event will take place next?

14. When the wicked are burned up and the fire goes out, what glorious, thrilling event will take place next?

“Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17. “Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13. “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5. “The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3.

Answer:   God will create new heavens and a new earth, and the new Jerusalem will be the capital city of the earth made new.  Sin and its ugliness will be gone forever.  God’s people will at long last receive the kingdom promised to them.  “They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”  Isaiah 35:10.  Too fabulous to describe!  Too glorious to miss!  Too near for us to be unsure!  God has a place prepared there for you (John 14:1-3).  Plan to live in it.  Jesus is waiting for your consent.

REVIEW THE EVENTS AT THE CLOSE OF THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Third coming of Jesus with His saints (Zechariah 14:5).
  2. Holy city settles on mount of Olives, which becomes a great plain (Zechariah 14:4, 10).
  3. The Father, angels, and all of the righteous come with Jesus (Revelation 21:1-3 Matthew 25:31 Zechariah 14:5).
  4. Wicked dead raised Satan loosed (Revelation 20:5, 7).
  5. Satan deceives entire world (Revelation 20:8).
  6. Wicked surround the holy city (Revelation 20:9).
  7. Wicked destroyed by fire (Revelation 20:9).
  8. New heavens and earth created (Isaiah 65:17 2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:1).
  9. God’s people enjoy eternity with Christ on the new earth (Revelation 21:2-4).
    THE 1,000 YEARS OF REVELATION 20
    EVENTS DURING THE 1,000 YEARS
    1. Earth torn up, desolate, and dark.
    2. All wicked are dead on earth.
    3. Satan bound to this earth.
    4. Righteous judging in heaven.
    FIRST RESURRECTION _________________________ AT BEGINNING OF THE 1,000 YEARS SECOND RESURRECTION _________________________   AT CLOSE OF THE 1,000 YEARS
    1. Devastating earthquake and hailstorm. 1. Third coming of Jesus with the saints.
    2. Second coming of Jesus for the saints. 2. Holy city descends onto the  mount of Olives, which becomes a great plain.
    3. Righteous dead raised to life. 3. Father, angels, righteous come with Jesus.
    4. Righteous given immortality.      4. Wicked dead raised and Satan loosed.
    5. Righteous given bodies like that of Jesus. 5. Satan deceives all nations. They surround the holy city.
    6. All righteous caught up into clouds. 6. Wicked destroyed by fire.
    7. Living wicked slain by the Lord’s presence. 7. New heavens and earth created.
    8. Wicked already in their graves remain dead. 8. God’s people enjoy eternity with Jesus.
    9. Jesus takes righteous to heaven.
    10. Satan bound.
    15. Can we know how soon Jesus will return for His saints?

    15. Can we know how soon Jesus will return for His saints?

    “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Romans 9:28. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

    Answer:   Jesus said when the signs of His coming are being fulfilled rapidly, as they are today, we should rejoice and know that His coming is near–even at the doors. And the apostle Paul said we can know the end is near when there is a great movement for peace in the world. Finally, the Bible says God will cut the work short (Romans 9:28). So without doubt, we are living on borrowed time. The Lord will arrive suddenly and unexpectedly–at an hour known to no one, but to God only (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7). Our only safety is to be ready.

    16. I am definitely planning to live in the fantastic custom-built home that Jesus is preparing for me in heaven.

    Answer:

    Thought Questions

    1. How long will the time period be from the day the holy city descends until the wicked are destroyed by fire from heaven? The Bible says it will be a “little,” or short, season (Revelation 20:3). Enough time will be required for Satan to persuade people to follow his plan and prepare weapons of war. The exact length of time is not revealed in Scripture.

    2. What kind of bodies will people have in God’s new kingdom? The Bible says the redeemed will have bodies like that of Jesus (Philippians 3:21). Jesus had a real body of flesh and bones after His resurrection (Luke 24:36-43). The saved will not be ghosts. They will be real people, as were Adam and Eve.

    3. Does the Bible say how the lost will react at Jesus’ second coming? Yes. The Bible says they will cry “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:16, 17. (See also verses 14 and 15.) The righteous, on the other hand, will say, “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.” Isaiah 25:9.

    4. When the holy city descends, will the wicked be able to see the righteous people who are inside the city? Quite likely they will. The Bible says the city will be the see-through type—clear as crystal (Revelation 21:11, 18). The righteous will be able to see the wicked (Psalms 37:34), and the wicked will be able to see the righteous (Luke 13:28). This could mean that some very sad encounters will take place at the city wall, with the saved part of a family inside and the lost part outside. The resulting heartache and trauma are too much for human language to describe.

    5. The Bible says God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of His people and there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain. When will this happen? From Revelation 21:1-4 and Isaiah 65:17, it appears that this will happen after sin and sinners are destroyed. During the final judgment and destruction by fire, God’s people will have many reasons for deep sorrow. As they realize that relatives and friends are lost and that people they loved are being destroyed in the fire, anguish will doubtless bring tears and heartache to God’s people. But after the fire goes out, the Lord will wipe away their tears. He will then create new heavens and a new earth for His people, which will bring them unspeakable joy and fulfillment. And sorrow, sadness, crying, and heartache will be forever gone.

    6. How will the destruction of wicked angels and people affect God the Father and His Son? Doubtless they will be relieved and overjoyed that the ugly cancer of sin is gone forever and that the universe is secure. Surely they will also experience deep, wrenching sadness over the fact that so many of those they loved, and for whom Jesus died, chose to cling to sin and reject salvation. Satan himself was once their warm, personal friend, and many people in the fire were their dearly beloved children. It will be like the agony of seeing one of your own errant children executed. Sin has been a crushing load upon both Father and Son since its inception. The aim of the Father and Son has been to love people and gently draw them to salvation. Their feelings are expressed in Hosea 11:8, NASB: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? … My heart is turned over within Me, all my compassions are kindled.”*
    *The New American Standard Bible,  (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

    7. What kind of body does Jesus have? He has a body of flesh and bones. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples (Luke 24:36-43) and demonstrated that He was not a spirit or ghost by stating that He was flesh and bones, having them feel His body, and by eating some fish and honey.
    Jesus Ascends He then walked with them to Bethany and, as He was conversing with them, ascended to heaven (Luke 24:49-51). The angel who appeared to the disciples as Jesus ascended explained that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11.
    This Same Jesus Will Return The angel’s emphasis was that this same Jesus (of flesh and bones) will come again. He will be real, not ghostly, and the risen and translated saints will have bodies like His (Philippians 3:21 1 John 3:2). The saints’ heavenly bodies will also be incorruptible and immortal (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).

     

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Case Closed

21 Nov
The jury is in, the verdict read … case closed! Few thoughts could be more sobering. The day is fast approaching when every person who has ever lived will have their lives reviewed before the all-knowing eyes of God (2 Corinthians 5:10). But don’t let this alarm you – take heart! Millions have already found the judgment message in this Study Guide to be very good news! On four occasions when the book of Revelation mentions the great judgment, it brings forth praise and thanksgiving! But did you know that the Bible mentions judgment more than a thousand times? Almost every Bible writer refers to it, so its importance cannot be overemphasized. In the next few minutes, you’re going to get a real eye-opener in this neglected subject.
First Phase of the Final Judgement

1. The angel Gabriel gave Daniel the prophecy of the 1844 heavenly judgment.  The first phase of the judgment is called the pre-advent judgment because it takes place before Jesus’ second coming.  What group of people will be considered in the first phase of the judgment?  When does it end?

“Judgment must begin at the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17. “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”  Revelation 22:11, 12.  (See also 1 Timothy 3:15.)

Answer:   It ends just before the second coming of Jesus.  Those (living and dead) who claimed to be Christians–“the house of God”–will be considered in the pre-advent judgment.  (The 1844 date is established in Study Guide 18.)

Jesus stands with His faithful people in the judgment and promises them a positive verdict.

Jesus stands with His faithful people in the judgment and promises them a positive verdict.

2. Who presides at the judgment?  Who is the defense attorney?  The judge?  The accuser?  Who are the witnesses?

“The Ancient of days did sit, … his throne was like the fiery flame.”  “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.  “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. “The Father … hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” John 5:22. “The Devil, … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:9, 10.  “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” Revelation 3:14.  (See also Colossians 1:12-15.)

Answer:   God the Father, the Ancient of days, presides in the judgment.  He loves you very much (John 16:27).  Satan is your only accuser.  In the heavenly court, Jesus, who loves you, your best friend will be your attorney, judge, and witness.  And He promises that judgment will be “given in favour of the saints.” Daniel 7:22, NEB.*
*The New English Bible, (C) 1961, 1970 by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.

Evidence presented in the judgment comes from the books of heaven.

Evidence presented in the judgment comes from the books of heaven.

3. What is the source of evidence used in the pre-advent judgment?  By what standard will all be judged?  Since God already knows everything about every person, why have a judgment?

“The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10.  “The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.  “They … shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12.  “We are made a spectacle [theater] unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9.

Answer:   Evidence for court comes from books in which all details of one’s life are recorded.  For the faithful, the record of prayer, repentance, and forgiveness of sin will be there for all to see.  The records will prove that God’s power enables Christians to live changed lives. God is pleased with His saints and will delight in sharing the evidence of their lives. The judgment will confirm that there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
The Ten-Commandment law is God’s standard in the judgment (James 2:10-12).  Breaking His law is sin (1 John 3:4).  The righteousness of the law will be fulfilled by Jesus in all of His people (Romans 8:3, 4).  To claim that this is impossible is to doubt Jesus’ word and His power.
The judgment is not to inform God.  He is already fully informed (2 Timothy 2:19).  However, the redeemed people will be coming to heaven from a world that has been degraded by sin.  Both the angels and the inhabitants of other unfallen worlds would certainly feel uneasy about admitting anyone to God’s heavenly kingdom who might start sin all over again.  Thus, the judgment will open to them every detail and answer every question.  Satan’s real aim has always been to discredit God as unfair, ruthless, unloving, and untruthful.  This makes it even more important for all beings in the universe to see firsthand how extremely patient God has been with sinners.  The vindication of God’s character is the prime purpose of the judgment (Revelation 11:16-19 15:2-4 16:5, 7 19:1, 2 Daniel 4:36, 37).  Note that the praise and glory are given to God for the way He handles the judgment.

Every facet of a person's life will be reviewed in the judgment.

Every facet of a person’s life will be reviewed in the judgment.

4. What portion of a person’s life is considered in the pre-advent judgment?  What will be confirmed? How will rewards be decided?

“God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14. “Let both [wheat and tares] grow together until the harvest.” “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend.”
Matthew 13:30, 41. “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12.

Answer:   Every detail of life will be reviewed, including secret thoughts and actions.  For this reason, this first phase of the judgment is also called the investigative judgment.  The judgment will confirm who will be saved of those who claimed to be Christians.  It will doubtless also confirm as lost those whose names are not judged in the pre-advent judgment.  Although we are saved by grace, rewards will be given based on works, deeds, or conduct, which prove the genuineness of a Christian’s faith (James 2:26).

Second Phase of the Final Judgement

5. What group is involved in the heavenly judgment during the 1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20?  What is the purpose of this second phase of the judgment?

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?”
1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.  “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Revelation 20:4.

Answer

Answer:   The “saints,” or righteous people of all ages who Christ takes to heaven in the cloud at His second coming, will be participating in this second phase of the judgment.
Suppose a family discovered that their much-beloved son who was murdered was not in heaven.  But the murderer was.  Doubtless they would need some answers.  This second phase of the judgment will answer all the questions of the righteous.  The life of every lost person (including Satan and his angels) will be carefully reviewed by the righteous, who will then totally agree with Jesus’ decisions regarding the reward for each one.  It will become obvious to all that the judgment is no arbitrary matter.  Instead, it simply confirms the choices which people have already made to serve either Jesus or another master (Revelation 22:11, 12).  (For a review of the 1,000 years, see Study Guide 12.)

Third Phase of the Final Judgement

6. When and where will the third phase of the final judgment take place?  What new group will be present at this phase of judgment?

“His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem.” “And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.” Zechariah 14:4, 5, 10. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” Revelation 21:2.  “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall … go out to deceive the nations … to gather them together to battle.” Revelation 20:7, 8.

The wicked will try to attack the holy city.

The wicked will try to attack the holy city.

Answer:   The third phase of the judgment will take place on the earth at the close of the 1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20, after Jesus’ return to earth with the holy city.  All the wicked who have ever lived, including the devil and his angels, will be present.  At the close of the 1,000 years, the wicked dead of all ages will be raised (Revelation 20:5).  Satan immediately launches a powerful propaganda campaign to deceive them.  Amazingly, he succeeds in convincing the nations of earth that they can capture the holy city.

7. What happens next?

“They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.” Revelation 20:9.

Answer:   The wicked surround the city and prepare to attack.

The third phase of the judgment will interrupt the plan to attack the city.

The third phase of the judgment will interrupt the plan to attack the city.

8. What interrupts their battle plan, and with what results?

“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.” Revelation 20:12. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11, 12.

Answer:   Unexpectedly, without warning, God appears with almost paralyzing brightness above the city (Revelation 19:11-21).  The moment of truth has arrived.  Every lost soul since the world began, including Satan and his angels, now faces God in judgment.  Every eye is fastened upon the King of kings (Revelation 20:12).
Each Person Sees Own Life Reviewed Then each lost soul recalls his own life story:  God’s constant, warm, pleading calls to repent that wooing, still, small voice the awesome conviction that often came the repeated refusals to respond.  It is all there.  Its accuracy is incontestable.  Its facts are irrefutable.  God wants the wicked to fully understand.  He will provide any details desired in order to make all things clear.  The books and records are available.
No Cover-Up God is not involved in some celestial cover-up.  He has destroyed no evidence, erased no tapes.  There is nothing to hide.  Everything is open, and every person who has ever lived plus all the good and bad angels will be viewing this drama of all dramas.
The Lost Fall to Their Knees Suddenly there is a movement.  One lost soul drops to his knees to admit his guilt and openly confess that God was more than fair with him. His own stubborn pride kept him from responding. And on all sides now, people and evil angels are likewise kneeling. Then in one great, almost simultaneous move all remaining people and evil angels, including Satan, fall prostrate before God (Romans 14:11).  They openly clear the name of God from all false accusations and give witness to His loving, fair, merciful treatment of them.
All Confess That the Sentence Is Fair All confess that the sentence of death pronounced upon them is fairthe only safe way to handle sin. Of each lost person it can be said, “Thou hast destroyed thyself.” Hosea 13:9. God now stands vindicated before the universe. The accusations and claims of Satan have been exposed and unequivocally discredited as the perverse lies of a hardened sinner.

Fire from heaven will eradicate sin and sinners for eternity.

Fire from heaven will eradicate sin and sinners for eternity.

9. What final steps will eradicate sin from the universe and provide a secure home and future for the righteous?

“They … compassed the camp of the saints about, … 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.” Revelation 20:9, 10.  “For they [the wicked] shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.” Malachi 4:3. “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17. “Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, … and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them.” Revelation 21:3.

Answer:   Fire from heaven will fall upon the wicked.  The fire will completely eradicate sin and sinners from the universe forever.  (See Study Guide 11 for full details on hellfire.)  This will be a time of deep sadness and trauma for God’s people.  Virtually every person will have a loved one or friend in the fire.  Guardian angels will probably shed tears over the loss of the people they protected and loved for years.  Even Christ will doubtless weep over those He loved and plead with so long.  At that awful moment the anguish of God, our loving Father, over the terrible cost of sin will defy description.
New Heavens and Earth Then the Lord will wipe all tears away from His redeemed people (Revelation 21:4) and create new heavens and a new earth lovely beyond description for His saints.  And best of all, He will reside here with His people throughout eternity.  No thinking person would want to miss that.

The sacrificed animal represented Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

The sacrificed animal represented Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

10. How did the “day of atonement” service in the Old Testament earthly sanctuary symbolize the judgment and God’s plan to eradicate sin from the universe and restore perfect harmony?

Answer:   In Study Guide 2, we learned how Satan falsely accused and challenged God and brought the ugly malignancy of sin into the universe. The day of atonement in ancient Israel taught, through symbols, how God will handle the sin problem and bring harmony back to the universe by the atonement.  (Atonement means “at-one-ment,” or “to bring all things into total divine harmony.”)
In the earthly sanctuary, the symbolic steps were:
A. Lord’s goat slain to cover sins of the people.
B. Priest ministered the blood before the mercy seat.
C. Judgment took place in this order:
(1) the righteous confirmed, (2) the unrepentant cut off, and (3) the record of sin removed from the sanctuary.
D. Record of sin placed on scapegoat.
E. Scapegoat sent into wilderness.
F. People cleansed from their sins.
G. All begin new year with a clean slate.
These five symbolic steps represent literal atonement events which are instituted from the heavenly sanctuary, God’s celestial headquarters for the universe.  The first point above is the symbol of the literal atonement event of the first point below the second point above is the symbol of the second point below, etc.  Notice how clearly God has symbolized these great atonement events:
A. Jesus’ sacrificial death as man’s substitute (1 Corinthians 15:3 5:7).
B. Jesus as our High Priest restores people to God’s image (Hebrews 4:14-16 Romans 8:29).
C. Judgment provides records to confirm lives,good and bad, and then removes the records of sin from the heavenly sanctuary (Revelation 20:12 Acts 3:19-21).
D. Responsibility for originating sin and for causing all people to sin is placed on Satan (1 John 3:8 Revelation 22:12).
E. Satan banished into wilderness (1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20).
F. Satan, sin, and sinners eradicated permanently (Revelation 20:10 21:8 Psalms 37:10, 20 Nahum 1:9).
G. New earth created for God’s people.  Everything lost by sin is restored to the Lord’s saints (2 Peter 3:13 Acts 3:20, 21).
The atonement is not completed until the universe and all in it are restored to pre-sin condition with the assurance that sin will never rise again.

After the judgment, sin will be gone forever.  The righteous will be safe for eternity.

After the judgment, sin will be gone forever.  The righteous will be safe for eternity.

11. What is the good news about the judgment as revealed in this Study Guide and listed below?

Answer:   A. God and His manner of handling the sin problem will be gloriously vindicated before the entire universe.  This is the central purpose of the judgment.
B. Judgment will be decided in favor of God’s people.
C. The righteous will be safe from sin for eternity.
D. Sin will be completely eradicated and will never rise a second time.
E. Everything that Adam and Eve lost by sin will be restored to the redeemed.
F. The wicked will be turned to ashes, not tortured endlessly.
G. In the judgment, Jesus is our judge, attorney, and witness.
H. Both the Father and Son love us. It is the devil who accuses us.
I. The heavenly books will be helpful to the righteous because they will show how the grace of the gospel changed their lives.
J. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  The judgment will only make that truth evident.
K. Not one soul (man or angel) will complain that God is unfair. It will be unanimous that God has been loving, fair, gracious, and kind in dealing with all.

12. God promises to acquit you in the heavenly judgment if you will invite Him to enter your life and permit Him to remain in control.  Will you invite Him to enter your life today?

Answer:

Thought Questions

1. What is the difference between accepting Jesus as my Saviour and accepting Him as my Lord? The difference is substantial.  When I accept Him as Saviour, He saves me from the guilt and penalty of sin and gives me the new birth.  He changes me from sinner to saint.  This transaction is a glorious miracle and is essential to salvation.  No one can be saved without it.  However, Jesus is not finished with me at this point.  I have been born, but His plan is that I also grow up to become like Him (Ephesians 4:13).  When I accept Him daily as the ruler, or Lord, of my life, He, by His miracles, causes me to grow in grace and Christian conduct until I am mature in Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
The Problem – I Want My Own Way The problem is that I want to run my own life – have my own way. The Bible calls this “iniquity”, or sin (Isaiah 53:6).  Making Jesus my Lord is so important that the New Testament mentions Him as “Lord” 766 times.  In the book of Acts alone, He is referred to as “Lord” 110 times and as “Saviour” only twice.  This demonstrates how important it is to know Him as Lord and Ruler of our lives.
A Neglected Imperative – Making Him Lord Jesus placed continuing emphasis upon His Lordship because He knew that crowning Him Lord would be a forgotten and neglected imperative (2 Corinthians 4:5).  Unless I make Him Lord of my life, there is no way I can ever become a full-grown Christian clothed in Christ’s righteousness.  Instead, I will end up “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” and, even worse, feeling that I “have need of nothing”. Revelation 3:17.

2. Since the record of the sins of God’s people were transferred on the day of atonement to the scapegoat, doesn’t that make him also our sin-bearer?  I thought Jesus alone bore our sins. The scapegoat, which represents Satan, in no way bears, or pays for, our sins. The Lord’s goat, which was sacrificed on the day of atonement, represents Jesus, who assumed and paid for our sins on Calvary. Jesus alone “taketh away the sin of the world”.  John 1:29.  Satan will be punished (as will all other sinners—Revelation 20:12-15) for his own sins, which will include responsibility for  (1) the existence of sin, (2) his own evil actions, and (3) influencing every person on earth to sin.  God will clearly hold him accountable for evil.  This is what the symbolism of the transfer of sin to the scapegoat (Satan) on the day of atonement is meant to convey.

3. The Bible is clear that God forgives all sins which are confessed (1 John 1:9).  It is also clear that, though forgiven, the record of these sins remains on heaven’s books until the end of time (Acts 3:19-21). Why aren’t the sins blotted out when forgiven? There is a very good reason.  The heavenly judgment is not complete until the judgment of the wicked takes place—immediately prior to their destruction at the end of the world.  If God destroyed the records before this final phase of the judgment, He could be accused of a massive cover-up.  All records of conduct remain open for viewing until the judgment is completed.

4. Some say the judgment took place at the cross.  Others say it takes place at death.  Can we be certain the timing for the judgment as shown in this Study Guide is correct? Yes.  To make it possible for us to be certain regarding the timing for the judgment, God clearly specified it three times in Daniel chapter 7.  Notice God’s specific timing.  God left no room for uncertainty.  The divine sequence is stated three times (verses 8-14, 20-22, 24-27) in this one chapter as follows:
A. The little horn power – ruled A.D. 538-1798.   (See Study Guide 15.)
B. The judgment – begins after 1798 (in 1844) and continues until Jesus’ second advent.
C. God’s new kingdom – established at the end of the judgment.
So God makes it clear that the judgment does not take place at death or at the cross, but between 1798 and Jesus’ second coming.  Remember that the first angel’s message is in part, “The hour of his judgment is come”. Revelation 14:6, 7.  God’s end-time people must be telling the world that the final judgment is in session now!

5. What important lessons can we learn from our study of the judgment? Notice the following five points:
A. God may seem to take a long time before He acts, but His timing is right.  No lost person will ever be able to say “I didn’t understand” or “I didn’t know”.
B. Satan and evil of all kinds will ultimately be dealt with by God in the judgment.  Since the judgment is God’s work and He has all the facts, we should stop judging others and let God do it.  It’s a serious matter for us to take over God’s work of judging.  It’s usurping His authority.
C. God leaves us all free to decide how we will relate to Him and who we will serve.  However, we must be prepared for serious consequences when we decide contrary to His Word.
D. God loves us so much that He has given us the books of Daniel and Revelation to make these end-time issues clear.  Our only safety lies in listening to Him and following His counsel from these great prophetic books.
E. Satan is determined to destroy every one of us.  His deceiving strategies are so effective and so convincing that all but a very few will be ensnared.  Without Jesus’ resurrection power in our lives daily to protect us from the devil’s traps, we will be devastated by Satan.

 

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